Decentring the Renaissance : Canada and Europe in multidisciplinary perspective, 1500-1700 9780802081490, 0802081495

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Decentring the Renaissance : Canada and Europe in multidisciplinary perspective, 1500-1700
 9780802081490, 0802081495

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DECENTRING THE RENAISSANCE: CANADA AND EUROPE IN MULTIDISCIPLINARY P E R S P E C T I V E , 1500-1700 Edited by Germaine Warkentin and Carolyn Podruchny

In 1497, explorers from the confident world of Renaissance Europe sailed, under Captain Giovanni Caboto, into what are now Canadian waters. This significant encounter brought into contact two worlds equally ignorant of each other and set in motion a number of events that culminated in the birth of a new nation. The Renaissance, ordinarily thought of as an entirely European-centred phenomenon is 'decentred' in these eighteen innovative essays. They explore not only how the European Renaissance helped form Canada, but also, more significantly, how the experience of Canada touched the Renaissance and those who first came to the shores of North America. Representing a range of disciplines, including literature, biology, history, linguistics, and anthropology, this volume rethinks traditional notions of Canada and of the Renaissance. The essays examine both the interaction between the two worlds as well as the ways that this interaction has traditionally been interpreted. As distinct from the rapid transformation of South and Central America, the focus is on the slower northern experience, questioning the European monopoly on history, politics, and science, as well as the misrepresentation of Canada's Aboriginal peoples. Originally presented at a 1996 conference at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, University of Toronto, these essays provide a wealth of new information and a variety of new perspectives on the collision of the Old World with the New. GF.RMAINE WARKENTIN is Professor Emeritus of English, University of Toronto. CAROLYN PODRUCHNY is an assistant professor of American studies and history at Western Michigan University.

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Decentring the Renaissance Canada and Europe in Multidisciplinary Perspective, 1500-1700


Germaine Warkentin Carolyn Podruchny

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PRESS Toronto Buffalo London © University of Toronto Press Incorporated 2001 Toronto Buffalo London Printed in Canada ISBN 08020-4327-5 (cloth) ISBN 0-8020-8149-5 (paper)

Printed on acid-free paper

National Library of Canada Cataloguing in Publication Data Main entry under title: Decentring the Renaissance : Canada and Europe in multidisciplinary perspective, 1500-1700 Based on papers presented at a conference held at Victoria College, University of Toronto, in Mar. 1996. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-8020-4327-5 (bound) ISBN 0-8020-8149-5 (pkb.) i. Canada - Discovery and exploration - Congresses. 2. America Discovery and exploration - Congresses. 3. Indians of North America First contact with Europeans - Canada - Congresses. 4. Canada Civilization - European influences - Congresses. 5. Europe - Civilization Canadian influences - Congresses. 6. Europe - Civilization - 17''' century Congresses. 7. Canada - Civilization - To 1763 - Congresses. 8. Renaissance Congresses. I. Warkentin, Germaine, 1933- . II. Prodruchny, Carolyn. K:3O5.r>437 2001 1-1030.1)437 2001



Illustrations on the part-title pages and the cover are used with the permission of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, images numbers 82000-7483, 82000-7484, 820007485. University of Toronto Press acknowledges the financial assistance to its publishing program of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. This book has been published with the help of a grant from the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada, using funds provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. University of Toronto Press acknowledges the financial support for its publishing activities of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP).


Illustrations Preface



Introduction: 'Other Land Existing' 3 Germaine Warkentin and Carolyn Podruchny Part I: Methods Polarities, Hybridities: What Strategies for Decentring? 19 Natalie Zemon Davis Inclusive and Exclusive Perceptions of Difference: Native and Euro-Based Concepts of Time, History, and Change 33 Deborah Doxtator Plunder or Harmony? On Merging European and Native Views of Early Contact 48 Toby Morantz Memoria as the Place of Fabrication of the New World Giles Therien


Part II: Mentalites / Debwewin The Sixteenth-Century French Vision of Empire: The Other Side of Self-Determination 87 Olive Patricia Dickason

vi Contents The Mentality of the Men behind Sixteenth-Century Spanish Voyages to Terranova no Selma Huxley Barkham Relocating Terra Firma: William Vaughan's Newfoundland Anne Lake Prescott


Images of English Origins in Newfoundland and Roanoke 141 Mary C. Fuller From the Good Savage to the Degenerate Indian: The Amerindian in the Accounts of Travel to America 159 Real Ouellet with Mylene Tremblay Part III: Translatiofide Few, Uncooperative, and 111 Informed? The Roman Catholic Clergy in French and British North America, 1610-1658 173 Luca Codignola Canada in Seventeenth-Century Jesuit Thought: Backwater or Opportunity? 186 Peter A. Goddard 'A New Loreto in New France': Pierre-Joseph-Marie Chaumonot, SJ, and the Holy House of Loreto 200 Andre Sanfafon Part IV: Decentring at Work The Delights of Nature in This New World: A Seventeenth-Century Canadian View of the Environment 223 Lynn Berry The Beginning of French Exploration out of the St Lawrence Valley: Motives, Methods, and Changing Attitudes towards Native People 236 Conrad E. Heidenreich The Earliest European Encounters with Iroquoian Languages 252 Wallace Chafe Decentring Icons of History: Exploring the Archaeology of the Frobisher Voyages and Early European-Inuit Contact 262 Reginald Auger, William W. Fitzhugh, Lynda Gullason, Anne Henshaw, Donald Hogarth, and Dosia Laeyendecker

Contents vii Sir William Phips and the Decentring of Empire in Northeastern North America, 1690-1694 287 Emerson W. Baker and John G. Reid Part V: Afterword Amerindians and the Horizon of Modernity 305 Denys Deldge and Jean-Philippe Warren

Works Cited






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1 The plan of Hochelaga, from Giovanni Ramusio's Italian edition of Jacques Carder's Voyages (1556) 11 2 A Huguenot column asserting French rights to 'vacant land' in Florida (1591) 100 3 Innu tents beside a Basque dwelling, Strait of Belle Isle 123 4 William Vaughan's Newfoundland: Captain John Mason's map from Vaughan's Cambrensium Caroleia (1625) 129 5 Champlain's explorations, 1603-15 240 6 The Frobisher site research area: (i) Baffin Land in relation to England and (ii) the location of Kodlunarn Island and Kamaiyuk 263 7 Aerial photograph of Kodlunarn Island 268 8 Ship's trench (1577 mine); excavation of the deposit left by the 1578 Frobisher expedition 269 9 Industrial area of Kodlunarn Island 270 10 Sod house at the Inuit site of Kamaiyuk 272 The fragments of sixteenth-century stove tile reproduced on the cover and part-title pages are from the Frobisher site, Kodlunarn Island. Restored at the Laboratoire de conservation de 1'Universite Laval.

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Decent-ring the Renaissance brings together a selection of papers first presented at a conference on the subject of Canada in the Renaissance, held at Victoria College, University of Toronto, in March 1996. All the papers were circulated in draft form before the conference, as well as heavily revised afterwards, and the result is a set of carefully thought-out essays that attempt new ways of framing the study of history and culture in 'the north part of America.' The editors would like to express their gratitude to the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at Victoria College and the Canadian Studies Program, University College, both of the University of Toronto, which undertook co-sponsorship of a conference in a field which at first sight seemed remote from their respective spheres of activity. Additional sponsors to whom we are grateful were the Centre for Rupert's Land Studies at the University of Winnipeg, First Nations House at the University of Toronto, and the Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies / Societe Canadienne d'Etudes de la Renaissance. We would also like to thank those institutions and departments that supported the conference with funding: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the British Council, the Netherlands Association for Canadian Studies, the Italian Cultural Institute, Glendon College of York University, and Victoria University in the University of Toronto. Within the University of Toronto proper, we wish to express our gratitude for funding to the Office of the President and Provost, the Vice-President for Research and International Relations, the Connaught Fund, the Dean of Arts and Science, the Canadian Studies Program of University College, and the Departments of English, French, Italian, Geography, and History. We would also like to thank the more than 125 attendees who sus-



tained the vigorous discussion that characterized the 1996 conference, many of them either by chairing sessions or by contributing papers (some of which have already been published elsewhere). The graduate student assistants organized by the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies played an essential role in creating the outstandingly collegial atmosphere of the conference. We are particularly grateful to the editorial board (originally the organizing committee for the conference), the members of which gave constant support during the editing process. We would like to express our thanks to the external evaluators of the resulting manuscript for their contributions to its final version. Finally, we would like to thank Dominique O'Neill, Genevieve Zubrzycki, and Glenn Gavin, who translated papers from the original French. For assistance with illustrations we owe a debt to Caroline Marchand and Louis Campeau of the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, Michel Brisebois of the National Library of Canada, and members of the Cartography Lab of York University, Toronto. For assistance in finding difficult-toobtain texts we are grateful to Jane Lynch of Inter-Library Loan, Robarts Library, University of Toronto, and David Brown of EJ. Pratt Library, Victoria University in the University of Toronto. John Warkentin, Rene Fossett, and John D. Nichols gave special advice, and Ingrid Smith typed several of the papers and prepared the final manuscript. A Note on the Text The papers that follow range widely through the documents and literature of the period 1500-1700, besides including much modern literary, historical, and scientific material. We have systematized this varying material as follows: citations from manuscript and unpublished material are located in the notes that appear at the end of each essay; references to printed material appear as author-date citations in the text. All published sources cited in the text appear at the end of the volume in the extensive list of works cited, which is intended to be a helpful contribution to further work in the area. To that end, in the works cited and the in-text citations we have generally included the original date of publication in square brackets, in addition to the modern edition being referred to. The exceptions are Christopher Columbus, Jacques Cartier, Richard Hakluyt, and Samuel de Champlain, where the textual record is complicated and established modern editions have been cited, and wellknown poets such as Donne, Drayton, and Yeats. In referring to early printed material all citations have been compared with the original texts; the use of i/j and u/v has been regularized and intensive italicization ignored.

DECENTRING THE RENAISSANCE Canada and Europe in Multidisciplinary Perspective, 1500-1700

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Introduction: 'Other Land Existing' Germaine Warkentin and Carolyn Podruchny

In the traditional story outlining the founding of the Confederacy, the Onondaga word for nation is tsyakauhwetsya'atta'shu', or 'earth, land be one,' implying that, in order to be a nation, a group of people must fundamentally share the same land. The term for nations outside the Confederacy of shared lands is thihotiohwentayatenyo, literally 'other land existing.' Deborah Doxtator

In 1994, excavating Martin Frobisher's 1577 establishment on Kodlunarn Island (in Frobisher Bay on the southeast coast of Baffin Island), archaeologists found among the detritus of that failed mining enterprise over 20,000 fragments of sixteenth-century stove tile. 'When reconstructed,' they write, 'these fragments exhibit stamped impressions showing scenes of classical mythology; two of them bear a date of 1561, which fixes their time of manufacture. Some of the same tiles have also been recovered from excavations at contemporary Inuit sites, and oral tradition ... makes reference to Inuit grinding them into powder in order to polish their brass ornaments' (see Auger et al., below, 275). In contemplating the questions raised by Europe's historic movement outward into 'new worlds,' how do we go about relating these two statements to each other? On one hand there is the material evidence fractured, needing careful reconstruction - of the artistry of European Renaissance tile-makers whose names are long lost to us. On the other is oral history, reporting the renowned ingenuity in practical matters of the Inuit of the Canadian north - their names also unknown - who transformed this unexpected material from far away into something that would serve their own artistic needs. Indeed, though the Romano-

4 Germaine Warkentin and Carolyn Podruchny

Christian culture of Europe has throughout its history been outwardmoving; during the long history of that movement it has repeatedly met with forces that transformed it, the most obvious case being what used to be called 'the fall of the Roman empire,' in which Vandals and Visigoths took up what they chose from a fragmenting classical civilization to - as it were - polish their own brass ornaments. This has been no less the case with the further movement of Romano-Christian culture that led to the Renaissance's 'Age of Discovery,' in which Martin Frobisher played out his role. It is just such an experience of historical transformation - not only among the Inuit, but among those who, like the tiles, stayed behind in a new land - that the essays in this volume address. In 1993, introducing an anthology of Canadian exploration literature between 1660 and 1860, Germaine Warkentin wrote, 'the real experience of discovery, the anthropologists tell us, was when Europeans who thought their society perfect and complete suddenly encountered the unrecognizable "other" represented by nations beyond their ken, and were forced to reinterpret themselves in the light cast by this "new world"' (Warkentin 1993, xxi). Decentring the Renaissance takes us beyond this insight, which, though true within its limits, still situates all agency- and all the capacity for reflection - among the Europeans. In the present volume, the regard of a team of scholars is cast, insofar as is possible, on the interaction between those two worlds and on the ways we attempt to interpret it. The framework is provided by the Renaissance - whether cultural movement or historical period - which in Northern Europe extended well into the seventeenth century, though scholars often find it more useful to describe those latter years as 'Early Modern.' The authors of the essays collected here inhabit, like the people they study, positions on multiple and intersecting peripheries. In focusing on the specifically northern, and indeed Canadian, aspects of the encounter, they are exploring well beyond the emphasis on Spain that necessarily characterizes much analysis of the discovery of the Americas - for example, in such influential studies as J.H. Elliott's The Old World and the New, 14921650 (1970). And though the Europeans among their subjects were shaped by the culture of the Renaissance, they nevertheless lived and acted in its long, Early Modern aftermath. The Renaissance as a historiographical concept, so the influential Canadian scholar Wallace Ferguson observed over fifty years ago, is based on three basic ideas: 'that the Renaissance began in Italy and later spread across the Alps, altering its character somewhat in each country it

Introduction: 'Other Land Existing' 5

entered; that the revival of antiquity was everywhere a dominant factor; and finally, that it marked the end of medieval civilization and the dawn of the modern era' (Ferguson 1948, 253). The Renaissance -when thus defined - is at one and the same time a period, a cultural model stressing centre-periphery relations, and a historical process. But, in defining it as he did, Ferguson was also pointing out the extent to which the northern countries of Europe - both receivers and disseminators of this powerful modernizing force - could not be absorbed in the great synthesis of the period; 'the Northern Renaissance,' he observed pointedly, 'had no Burckhardt,' nor could it have had one. The confident program of Renaissance humanism, with its core sense of a rebirth of antique culture after a period of darkness, was by its very nature entropic, and the fragments of stove tile from the Frobisher expedition, their scenes from classical mythology buried for four hundred years in an Arctic miners' trench, are eloquent testimonies to a process in which diffusion ultimately became transformation, as the periphery of a great European movement encountered the periphery of a world unknown to it. Ironically, it was in precisely the kind of task prized by the humanistic philology of the Renaissance - the editing of Jose de Acosta's Historia natural y moral de las Indias (1590) - that Edmundo O'Gorman during the 1950s began to inquire into the way in which Europeans had invented the very idea that America needed to be 'discovered' (O'Gorman 1961). Scholars to the south of Canada have devoted much study to this phenomenon, as we can see in the writings of Stephen Greenblatt, Anthony Pagden, and Walter D. Mignolo - to cite only a few of those writing in English - particularly during the commemoration of the Columbus quincentenary in 1992.' Prompted in part by the 1992 commemoration, scholars of exploration history, mapping, and neo-colonialism have continued to re-evaluate the field (Kicza 2000), but Canada has played only a small role in their writings. The reason is apparent in William Fitzhugh's observation that 'cultural comparisons between Europe, Asia, and the Americas have almost exclusively been theories of the midlatitude regions ... promoted by scholars versed in temperate and tropical region data' (Fitzhugh 1996, 95); and as a product of the Northern Renaissance, Canada does not fit easily into an 'Americas'-centred pattern of interpretation, which necessarily places a strong emphasis on the role of Spain. Writing of American beginnings in the movement outward from Iberia, the geographer Donald Meinig observes: American beginnings of course involved more than Iberia, and to the

6 Germaine Warkentin and Carolyn Podruchny north we can see a vaguely similar pattern where Cabot's voyage from Bristol in 1497 and the English and French enterprise that followed can be regarded as an overseas thrust by these peoples beyond their centuries-old Celtic frontiers. Viewed more closely ... the actual patterns fail to sustain so simple a relationship, or indeed any close similarities to Iberia ... The long delays and difficulties in getting anything firmly under way in the New World from this part of the Old hardly represent an explosive expansion but rather contrast starkly with the Iberian conquest of half the Americas in half a century. (Meinig 1986, 4)

It is with the result of this stark contrast - an experience northern rather than equatorial, slow and frustrating rather than swift and decisive, French and English rather than Hispanic - that we are concerned here. The conference that led to these essays was initiated at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (CRRS) at Victoria University in the University of Toronto. The only centre of its kind in Canada, CRRS cares for a fine collection of early Erasmiana and related books, and fosters research on Erasmus and on the Northern Renaissance. Its mandate stretches from the birth of Petrarch in 1304 to the death of Milton in 1674, beginning at the very inception of Renaissance humanism yet at the latter end situating its projects firmly in the Early Modern period. In 1996, conscious of the generosity with which its European focus had been supported by Canadian institutions, CRRS, in collaboration with the Canadian Studies Program at University College and other supporters, organized a conference to initiate the commemoration of the quincentenary of Giovanni Caboto's 1497 voyage to Canada. On that voyage, a sailor from the Italian centre of Renaissance culture, sailing under an English flag, travelled into what are now Canadian waters, thus bringing into documented contact two worlds that were equally ignorant of each other. The purpose of our conference, to frame 'Canada in the Renaissance' as a possible field of study, was innovative, though not inconceivable if we keep in mind that overlap between Renaissance and Early Modern, and particularly the way in which it affects the historiography of the northern latitudes. It was clear from the beginning that there was little point in producing yet another book of essays on early Canada, a field well traversed in histories of New France and Newfoundland by figures such as Marcel Trudel, W.J. Eccles, Gillian Cell, and Gordon Handcock. Instead, we wanted to create a volume on early Canada that would bring together

Introduction: 'Other Land Existing' 7

disparate geographical areas and provide a framework in which to look for organizing principles for this particular time and place. As postcolonial investigators in other fields have done, we would make our subject the meeting of Old World and New; yet, by 'decentring the Renaissance,' we would look not solely into the impact on Canada of people shaped by the European Renaissance and Early Modern periods, but to the impact of Canada on them. We also wanted to consider, if we could, the ways in which the Native peoples of early Canada responded to the Renaissance and to the Early Modern Europeans who came to their shores. There was a need for our initiative: scholars in different fields working on Canadian topics in the period 1500-1700 ceaselessly cited each other, yet had never met as a group in the same place, and we believed that the opportunity offered by the Cabot quincentenary to provide a framework for dialogue among them should not be missed. Accordingly, participants were invited to consider the ways in which Canada during the Renaissance and Early Modern periods was not only an arena of European operations, but an authentic historical scene responding to forces from within and without. We imagined bringing together students of Italian humanism with those in Native studies, researchers of the Bristol trade with those working on Jesuit learning, students of French economic policy with those of Mohawk culture, and scholars of the English court with those of the Huron language. Our own outreach could not, in the end, stretch as far as the plains cultures of western Canada or the aristocracies of the northwest coast, which during the same period were sharing with Native peoples to the east the territory of what is now Canada. Nevertheless, the result was an invigorating multidisciplinary exercise, in which historians, natural scientists, literary critics, archaeologists, and sociologists all found themselves to some extent 'decentred.' What is it to decentre one's understanding of a problem? The term seems to have originated with Jacques Derrida, though like much else in his writings it has developed a life of its own. In an essay first published in 1972 he pointed out that what he termed the 'classic' way of erasing any difference between signifier and signified was by 'reducing or deriving the signifier, that is to say, ultimately in submitting the sign to thought.' With this he contrasted its alternative, which 'consists in putting into question the system in which the preceding reduction functioned: first and foremost the opposition between the sensible and the intelligible' (Derrida 1972, 251). That is, in reducing the 'other' to our own categories so as to understand it, we engage in an act of erasure in which our cultural perspective is asserted as the only point of reference.

8 Germaine Warkentin and Carolyn Podruchny

To decentre, on the other hand, is to put the categories themselves under scrutiny, to make them available for critical thought, and, in stressing the 'opposition between the sensible and the intelligible,' to make us aware of the ways in which thought constructs what we describe as experience. Derrida was hardly innocent about the long history of the critique of categories, but he proposed his contrast between centred and decentred approaches in a particularly radical way. Using a specifically colonial example, he argued that 'ethnology could have been born as a science only at the moment when a decentering had come about: at the moment when European culture - and, in consequence, the history of metaphysics and its concepts - had been dislocated, driven from its locus, and forced to stop considering itself as the culture of reference' (Derrida 1972, 251). Whatever its philosophical status, Derrida's argument has proved to have significant political and ethical resonance in a globalizing epoch in which understanding how cultures construct their particular realities has become profoundly important. It is not easy to decentre - to dislocate - a powerful culture, particularly for those who stand outside it and may urgently need to assert an alternative perspective. The narrative of Europe's long movement outward from its Romano-Christian centre is full of episodes such as the finding of the stove tiles on Kodlunarn, but usually recounted from a stricdy European point of view, one stressing the scandal of ruined artefacts, the ignorance of the 'primitive' peoples who recycled them, or the untrustworthiness of oral evidence as opposed to the solid testimony of document or material object. Michel de Certeau, in his discussion of the Protestant Jean de Lery's visit to Brazil in 1557, points out the extent to which, for Lery, the New World's 'marvels - the visible marks of alterity - are used not to posit other truths or another discourse, but ... to found a language upon its operative capacity for bringing this foreign exteriority back to "sameness"' (Certeau [1975] 1988, 227). Yet it was also in the Renaissance and Early Modern period that the universalizing concept of 'Christendom' began to be slowly re-imagined as a historically and geographically delimited 'Europe' (Burke 1998, 214), and the very envisioning of these new limits necessitated some articulation of what might lie beyond them. In part this new conception arose in the 'rivoluzione Acostiana' described by Giuliano Gliozzi; it was the Jesuit theologian and missionary Jose de Acosta who began to move away from the universally accepted view that humans had all descended from Adam, and towards a recognition of racial differences (Gliozzi

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!976, 371-443)- In the ensuing centuries, negotiating those differences - whether by diplomacy, conquest, theorizing about natural rights, or outright renovation of the colonial project - has become a major theme of the history of cultures. Yet Michael Ryan has pointed out how very slow this process of negotiation was; 'why,' he asks, 'did the new worlds in Asia, Africa and America make so little difference to contemporaries?' (Ryan 1981, 521). The rapidity of change in Hispanic America, as described by Donald Meinig, was not mirrored in Europe's own slow pace towards the new forms of knowledge that, Anthony Grafton argues, began to emerge with La Peyrere and Hobbes only in the midseventeenth century. Nevertheless, 'in this encyclopedic culture, where at every turn books pressed on objects, the new world of unpredicted, unaccommodating fact rubbed against the old one of traditional, canonical texts' (Grafton, Shelford, and Siraisi 1992, 228). The culture of modernity was slouching towards birth, its gaze, as Yeats reminds us, 'blank and pitiless as the sun.'2 Canadian academic culture has generally conceived itself as a product of that new knowledge field of unpredicted, unaccommodating fact, with its concomitant empirical mindset. Is there an advantage in attempting to rethink some of its questions about Canada in terms of the world-view in which they originally came to birth? Two arguments favour such an enterprise. First, the contribution of Canadian scholars, working independently or in teams, to the study of the European Renaissance and the Early Modern period has been out of all proportion to their numbers. The work of Wallace Ferguson is only one example. This prominence may be because of the survival here and there in Canadian higher education of the fields - Latin, philology, paleography - that arose in the Renaissance revival of antiquity. This survival has made possible international projects like the Collected Works of Erasmus in English and the Records of Early English Drama, both situated in Toronto, and the editions of sixteenth-century indices of prohibited books emanating from the Centre d'etudes de la Renaissance in Sherbrooke, Quebec. All three focus on recognized Renaissance topics. But in Quebec there has been a series of major projects in which figures such as Real Ouellet and Denys Delage have begun to turn the themes of Renaissance and Early Modern historiography whether period, model, or process - on the history of our own country,3 acknowledging the need to study the results of the shaping of early Canada by men and women who were living in and affected by a period of aggressive intellectual, economic, and territorial transformation.

1O Germaine Warkentin and Carolyn Podruchny The second argument stems from the history of Canada itself, where the much weaker effect of both the Enlightenment of eighteenthcentury Europe and the revolutionary fervour of the period 1776-1848 has meant that certain features of that slow and tentative early cultural formation remain in place. Themes of obedience and deference still play a role in the analysis of Canadian cultural politics, and Canada is sometimes described as a country that has not yet had its revolution. The great economic historian Harold Innis observed that 'fundamentally, the civilization of North America is the civilization of Europe.' Though one of Innis's aims in The Fur Trade in Canadawas 'to show the effects of a vast new land area on European civilization' (Innis 1956, 385), it was with the deep resemblance he saw between the two that he began. Thus Canada has been in the past, and remains today, peculiarly vulnerable to the centre-periphery model exemplified by the Renaissance. Either its chattering classes struggle interminably with the problem of 'Canadian identity' or - as in Innis's staple theory or the related work of Donald Creighton in The Commercial Empire of the St Lawrence, 1760-1850 (!937) ~ tropes of imperial outreach, long severed from their Renaissance and Early Modern context, are domesticated in the great valley of the St Lawrence River, or preserved with animosity on the Western prairies.4 Despite this vulnerability, the formation of Canadian theories about ourselves (a richly paradoxical subject) has generally ignored as a shaping force the specifically cultural significance of the period 14001700 on perceptions of the country. The famous depiction of Hochelaga with which Ramusio illustrated his text of Carder (figure i) is topographically correct (Larouche 1992, 130-40) but, as Andre Corboz has shown, it also has its precedent in the Italian tradition of ideal town plans.5 And when the explorers Radisson and Groseilliers participated in diplomatic negotiations at a 'Feast of the Dead' near Lake Superior in 1660, it was to Renaissance court progresses that Radisson compared the ceremonies he witnessed (Warkentin 1996). Possibly we have not paused often enough to attempt the act of historical imagination invited by such comparisons: envisioning Canada through the eyes of the people of the Renaissance who came here from France, England, Spain, Portugal, and Italy between 1497 and about 1700, and for whom Renaissance court display (to take only one example) was a familiar mode of public discourse. Indeed, it is only recently that we have attempted to do so from the point of view of the Native peoples who were living here when the Europeans arrived, inhabiting the same historical epoch but with very differ-

Introduction: 'Other Land Existing'


i The plan of Hochelaga, from Giovanni Ramusio's Italian edition of Jacques Carder's Voyages (1556). National Library of Canada, 6159 Rg 1563. ent ideas of its history. The gulf between modern Canadians of aboriginal descent and those of European origin is notoriously unbridged. One of the most important essays comes from the late Deborah Doxtator, who, from the dual perspective of a Mohawk of the Tyendinaga reserve and a professor of English at York University in Toronto, considers the phenomenon of European historiography as it rewrites, but cannot change, the historiography of peoples unwillingly caught in the project of expansion. It was in reading works such as Olive Dickason's The Myth of the Savage and the Beginnings of French Colonialism in theAmericas (1984; translated as Le Mythe du Sauvage, 1993) and Denys Delage's L^e Pays renverse (1985, translated as The Bitter Feast, 1993) that many of us first recognized the need to pose about Canada and its peoples at the time of contact the question that Edmundo O'Gorman had posed about the Americas three decades ago - 'whether or not the idea that America was "discovered" was acceptable as a satisfactory way of explaining its appearance on the historical scene of Western culture' (O'Gorman 1961, 45).

12 Germaine Warkentin and Carolyn Podruchny

Complicating this situation is the fact that Canadians whose ancestors came from Europe created French and English cultures that in recent years have gazed across an ever-widening gap (one narrowed here, we hope, by the participation of both French- and English-speaking scholars). And within English and French cultures, though particularly in English Canada, people from many other nations, quite a number of which are postcolonial in character, are playing an increasingly influential role. The structure within which these roles are acted out submits no more easily to the centre-periphery model afforded by Renaissance and Early Modern outreach than it does to the 'frontier thesis' of the American historian Frederick Jackson Turner (much disputed even in the United States). In actuality, R. Cole Harris argues, Canada has been by nature an accumulating body of associated cultural centres (Harris 1982). Seen in this way, modern Canada - despite the intense domination of an eastern-centred merchant-industrial complex since the i88os, and another from south of the border today - assumes a pattern of regional islands of development not unlike the situation on the outer periphery of Romano-Christian culture. To take Harris's argument a step further, modern Canada also uncannily resembles the underlying pattern of Native habitation before contact: a widespread group of active and highly differentiated societies linked by lengthy trading networks. Among the 'other lands existing' here, in the north part of America at the end of the twentieth century, has Derrida's 'dislocation' become 'relocation'? In such a situation, Canada's long history as a northern nation, plunged into modern history from a position on the edge of the Northern Renaissance, becomes theoretically very challenging indeed. These challenges are addressed very frankly in the four essays that begin our volume and survey some possible methods and problems in decentring the Renaissance. Natalie Zemon Davis, from the vantage point of a scholar saturated in the history of the period yet profoundly aware of the need to question cultures of reference, thoughtfully considers the variety of possible strategies that might be available for such a decentring. Deborah Doxtator then presents the countervailing issues that are raised by her saturation in a Native, and specifically Mohawk, historiography. Writing from the standpoint of an anthropologist who has closely investigated Native-European contact in Early Modern Canada, Toby Morantz sharply questions whether any rapprochement of methods is even possible. Gilles Therien in his turn examines the stubborn slowness with which Renaissance cultural memory actually operated in early Canada. The Jesuits, he reminds us, were trained by and in

Introduction: 'Other Land Existing' 13

the Renaissance, and they represented modernity in their time, but for them metissage, the weaving of contrary truths into a new fabric, was impossible - though some of the Native people Therien discusses found a diplomatic way around the problem in conducting their own affairs. 'The notion of mentality,' Therien shrewdly observes, 'is not in itself without confusion,' a complexity we have suggested with a double title for section two: the Ojibwa word for mentalites would probably be 'debwewin,' 'the truth.' Here, we examine four case histories - two including examples from further south - that suggest the various and paradoxical ways in which Renaissance and Early Modern mentalites operated in the setting of early Canada. Olive Dickason considers the by no means simple history of the French vision of empire, comparing events in Canada, Brazil, and Florida. Selma Barkham complicates our understanding of 'contact' by describing a situation in which Europeans and Native people seem to have engaged in little conflict, in part because of the values that the Europeans - the Basques she has studied so closely- brought with them. Anne Lake Prescott continues this investigation of values and objectives by looking at the mental universe of the English poet and essayist William Vaughan, who, though he probably never visited Newfoundland, was certain he could write with authority about it. Mary Fuller also has something to say about Vaughan, as she compares the differing notions of settlement that shaped sixteenth-century visions of Virginia and Newfoundland. Concluding this section, Real Ouellet and Mylene Tremblay look at how two important rhetorical topoi of exploration writing, those of the Good Savage and the Degenerate Indian, actually evolved in French writing about the new world. In section 3, Translatio fide, one of the great themes of early writing about Canada - the translation of a universalizing faith to a distant and, to many Europeans, unappealing region of empire — is put under the microscope, with unexpected results. Luca Codignola re-examines the image of the religious orders in the history of New France, provides surprising statistics on their small numbers, and shows with what difficulty the missions in New France were developed in the context of Jesuit missions worldwide. Peter Goddard considers some of the reasons why the accepted picture of the divine imperative to send missionaries to Canada needs re-evaluation. Andre Sanfacon studies the painstaking replication of Italy's Holy House of Loreto at Notre Dame de Lorette in New France, bringing the resources of Church history, material culture, and gender studies to bear on the actual operation of the translatio fide in the lives of both Jesuits and Hurons.

14 Germaine Warkentin and Carolyn Podruchny

The fourth section, Decentring at Work, looks in close detail at interactions between the New World, as it was represented by 'the north part of America,' and the evolving experience of those who explored or settled here. In the field of natural history, Lynn Berry analyses the example of cultural hybridization represented by Pierre Boucher's Histoire veritable et naturelle. Conrad Heidenreich revises our view of Champlain's debt to Native knowledge of the territory, and Wallace Chafe inquires into the ways the first North American linguists recorded the encounter between their French and the Stadaconan and Huron languages of the Natives they met with. Two essays in this section also decentre the volume as a whole. The magisterial report on the archaeology of the Frobisher expedition from members of the Meta Incognita project focuses the techniques of the sciences, rather than those of the humanities, on Native-European interaction. Finally, Emerson W. Baker and John G. Reid take up the topic of the limits of empire in the Americas themselves, specifically the ways in which Acadian and Wabanaki influences were central to imperial dynamics on the northeast coast of North America at the end of the Early Modern period. In their reflective Afterword to the volume, Denys Delage and JeanPhilippe Warren not only survey the revisionist results of these studies but remind us of Ferguson's insistence that the Renaissance marked the end of medieval civilization and the dawn of the modern era. 'Modernity' brought with it a dual heritage: the intellectual resources of the objectifying mentality along with unparalleled economic aggression. The authors also warn us against what we might call the 'cultural pastoral' of modernity, of 'misrepresenting Native peoples as capable of living only in a mythical culture' and awarding to Western society 'the exclusive monopoly over history, politics, and sciences' (Delage and Warren, below, 316). This demand brings into sharp focus the epistemological dilemma pointed out by Toby Morantz: can we ever really decentre our understandings and resolve the representational problem of'other lands existing'? Yet as Delage and Warren suggest, to fail in the work of decentring may be to force contemporary Native peoples - to say nothing of their Early Modern ancestors - to submit to our own culture of reference. Perhaps, as Gesa Mackenthun has recently written, 'even an incomplete attempt to reconstruct history is preferable to totalizing or aestheticizing silence and otherness' (Mackenthun 1997, 17). In attempting such a reconstruction, we might take our cue from the Renaissance itself, when the literary genre of pastoral, with its lovesick shepherds and shepherdesses and its wisely debating elders, functioned not as a Never-Never

Introduction: 'Other Land Existing'


Land, but as a mirror holding up an image of ordinary experience, sharply addressing the problems of the age and - in its more extreme form of pastoral satire - seeking to resolve them. As the variety offered by Natalie Davis's four strategies suggests, decentring can never be a final condition successfully achieved; it is, as Derrida recognized, a 'function,' an activity constantly in process, a condition of the mind as it apprehends experience. And its work neither can nor should come to a conclusion. If, at the outer periphery of the historical 'rebirth' of learning we call the Renaissance, some commentators saw - or feared that they saw - dislocation, fragmentation, and the expiry of a great cultural movement, here in the north part of America we have been at work for several centuries at the task of relocation. Decentring the Renaissance represents the collaborative effort of more than two dozen scholars - Native, French- and English-Canadian, Italian, British, and American - to relocate ourselves by reopening O'Gorman's great question about the invention of America from the special perspective of those living at the point where Northern Renaissance and Native America encountered each other. The result is an exceptional gathering of new material, and of familiar material sharply questioned from fresh vantage points. The extensive list of printed primary and secondary sources that completes our volume, compiled at the urging of participants in the conference from the scholarship cited in the papers, suggests how much work on Canada in the Renaissance and Early Modern periods is being conducted in disciplines that would not otherwise have come into contact with each other. This list will, furthermore, provide a useful tool for the scholars of the future who flocked to the original conference and — in the spirit of the Renaissance itself — challenged our thinking at every point. Deborah Doxtator, whose calm reflections on Native and EuroCanadian concepts of time electrified all those present in 1996, will, to our sorrow, not participate in that work of the future; she died of cancelshortly after her essay was submitted. Our volume is dedicated to her memory.

NOTES 1 See Greenblatt 1990, 1991, 1993; Pagden 1987, 1993, 1995; Mignolo 1995. 2 William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming' (1921); Yeats 1950, 210-11, 11. 22,


l6 Germaine Warkentin and Carolyn Podruchny 3 SeeChamplain [1604] 1993; Charlevoix [1744] 1994; Sagard [1632] 1998; other important studies published in Quebec are Ferland 1992; Lintvelt, Ouellet, and Hermans 1994; Therien 1995; Turgeon, Ouellet, and Delage 1996; Pioffet 1997; and Viau 1997. 4 For some modern complexities of this trope, see Heintzman 1994. 5 Ramusio [1556] 1565, Corboz 1980, Larouche 1992, (from Patricia O'Grady, personal communication).

PARTI Methods

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Polarities, Hybridities: What Strategies for Decentring? Natalie Zemon Davis

'The Renaissance,' when it first became a term organizing cultural research and classroom teaching so many decades ago, was unsettling to much academic practice. Pursuing 'Renaissance' inevitably led the scholar and student across boundaries of discipline, and this at a time when increasing professionalization was working in the opposite direction. The Renaissance was described, to be sure, as originating in Italy, but as a movement it could not be contained within the national borders that framed so much scholarly discourse in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. When Eugenie Droz founded the periodical Humanisme et Renaissance (now the Bibliotheque d'humanisme et renaissance] in Paris in 1934, its contents were initially limited to France, but its coverage of fields - from economics to painting - was as innovative as the five-year-old Annales of Lucien Febvre and Marc Bloch. When I took Leona Gabel's 'Renaissance and Reformation' course at Smith College in 1947, we all felt we were in the vanguard, well beyond any ordinary course in English history. We read Renaissance News, just then founded and ancestor of Renaissance Quarterly, and thought it had much more to tell us than, say, the American Historical Review. Some decentring of the Renaissance had already begun, with the appearance of Charles Homer Haskins's Renaissance of the Twelfth Century (1927) and the growing interest in the Northern Renaissance and Erasmus. The sixties and seventies saw yet stronger displacement of the term 'Renaissance,' as those of us interested in social history began to wonder whether peasants had a Renaissance, whether artisans had a Renaissance, and finally, with Joan Kelly in the 19705, whether women had a Renaissance (Kelly 1977). Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie in his Peasants of the Languedoc, cleverly stretched the term to include demography: a 'Renais-

2O Natalie Zemon Davis

sance Malthusienne,' a rebirth of population that triggered the agricultural expansion of the early sixteenth century (Le Roy Ladurie 1966,139328). In my own practice, I simply stopped using 'Renaissance' as the name for a whole period, preferring the neutral label 'sixteenth century' or the somewhat problematic 'Early Modern.' 'Renaissance' I reserved for matters close to the core of the humanist program - education, literacy, rhetoric, the arts of political and personal fashioning - and then explored the various ways in which artisans and women were involved in such cultural activities. A shoemaker and a barber-surgeon might both seek the products of the printing press, but only the barber-surgeon would care about new and correct translations of Galen. With the end of colonial empires, the emergence of postcolonial societies, and the claims for status of indigenous peoples and First Nations, there has been a seismic shift, one that jolts European perspectives even more than the relocation through considerations of class and gender. Those maps that were the triumph of Renaissance scientific cartography began to seem examples of European colonization of space. Those dictionaries in which lists of unrecognizable words faced their Spanish or English or French translations began to seem a European restriction of meaning. What for Geoffroy Atkinson in his 1927 bibliography of Renaissance travel literature represented straightforward 'new knowledge' became for John Elliott, in his 1970 The Old World and the New, information that was very difficult for European travellers to record and even more difficult for European readers to comprehend and assimilate. For Mary Louise Pratt in her Imperial Eyes (1992), the work of European naturalists naming and classifying in Mexico, Brazil, the Caribbean, North America, and elsewhere eventually constituted 'a new form of... planetary consciousness among Europeans ... One by one the planet's life forms were to be drawn out of the tangled threads of their life surroundings and rewoven into European-based patterns of global unity and order' (Pratt 1992, 29, 31). With such understandings, historians of the society and culture of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe have been trying to find new ways to tell their story. This means that non-European peoples and European colonization are a regular rather than an exceptional part of our inquiry (I now open my undergraduate French history course with Jacques Cartier on the St Lawrence and end it with the Baron de Lahontan in Acadia and the Code Noir, the 1685 code for slavery in the Caribbean). It also means that we seek strategies, scholarly and expository, to relativize European claims to invariance and universality and to disturb

What Strategies for Decentring? 21

a single orderly narrative of successful European expansion. In doing so, I like to think we act both in the spirit of the Huron sage who said courteously to Father Brebeuf that 'each country has its own way of doing things' (Jesuit Relations [1610-1791] 1896-1901 [hereafter JR] 8: 118; my translation) and of the Bordelais sage Michel de Montaigne, who thought the French had something to learn from the example of the Brazilians (Montaigne [1580] 1962, 200-13). Let us now consider four strategies for cultural and geographic decentring. The first strategy is the oldest and most widespread: describing European attitudes and images of non-European peoples and showing them to be projections of European anxieties or elaborations from European categories of hierarchy or the pastoral. This is the exploration of the European gaze, the European regard, and it helps us position the 'universal' observer, to locate him (and occasionally her) in a precise cultural space. Sometimes the observers help us with this task when they tell their readers what they are reminded of back home. So the Protestant Jean de Lery, after describing the ceremonial eating of prisoners by the Tupinamba of Brazil, recalled French Catholics who ate Protestant hearts during the massacres of August 1572 (Lery [1578] 1990, 132).' Examining the European gaze has brought us ample fruits, as we see by Olive Dickason's remarkable and beautifully illustrated Myth of the Savage (1984). From such studies, we have learned to connect the image of the old savage woman with breasts hanging to her waist to the fear of the European witch (Bucher 1977, 46-7, 184-9), to connect Father Le Jeune's picture of the Montagnais of the Canadian woodlands with the picture of disorderly peasants in the French countryside, targets of a 'civilizing' mission. David Quint has gone even farther along the path of European projection onto the New World; he claims that Montaigne simply made up the song of the Brazilian prisoner, sung to his captor before his death: 'These muscles, ... this flesh and these veins are your own ... You do not recognize that the substance of your ancestors' limbs is still contained in them. Savor them well; you will find in them the taste of your own flesh.' The Tupi song, Quint maintains, was really Montaigne's dirge for French society, devouring itself in the wars of religion (cited in Quint 1995, 175). A danger of the gaze strategy is that it may lead us to a static or selfenclosed notion of European mentalities. An image of 'savagery' gets projected on to the indigenous peoples of the American continents and reproduces itself in every generation of European writers. Claire Farago, in introducing an important collection on the visual arts, Refraining the

22 Natalie Zemon Davis

Renaissance (Farago 1995, 1-20), urges a more dynamic approach: what, she asks, does European awareness of the arts in Latin America and Africa contribute to European concepts of its own arts? Denys Delage has documented a host of changes, from food and clothing to vocabulary and military techniques, brought about among the French by contact with the Amerindians (Delage 1992). Let me suggest an example of such a transformation in regard to European ideas of gift presentation. In their earliest voyages across the Adantic, the French had already decided what would constitute appropriate objects for gifting. In 1504 in Honfleur, Captain Gonneville loaded the hold of the Espoir with textiles - hardy linen and woollens, along with a few fancier pieces for someone more important - and especially hardware: axes and other tools, knives, combs, mirrors, and glass beads. Verrazano had a similar collection of textiles, small metal goods, mirrors, and beads when he and his French crew voyaged up the coast of North America twenty years later. Jacques Carder and his men had garments rather than textiles in their hold: some of them were used to clothe the Iroquoians whom they seized to take back to France. Especially, the Frenchmen distributed combs, knives, axes, rings, and glass beads - what the captain referred to as 'works of small value,' 'little goods,' 'little presents' (petitz presens de pen de valleur), which the Iroquoians received (according to the donor) with dancing and shouts of joy (Cartier 1924, 53, 55, 60, 121, 151; my translation). Perhaps these early explorers had been advised by Portuguese navigators or had heard stories from fishermen about what gifts they should take to the peoples of the American woodlands. But let us focus here on the European meaning of such gifts, especially of the knife (the agoheda, as it is called in Carder's French-Iroquoian glossary; the taxe miri, the 'little knives,' as they are called in Lery's French-Tupinamba dialogue) and other small metal goods (Carder 1924, 81; Lery [1578] 1990, 180). In a dedication of 1514 to his friend Pieter Gillis, Erasmus writes, 'Friends of the commonplace and homespun sort, my open-hearted Pieter, have their idea of relationship, like their whole lives, attached to material things; and if ever they have to face a separation, they favour a frequent exchange of rings, knives, caps, and other tokens of the kind, for fear that their affection may cool when intercourse is interrupted or actually die away.' Erasmus goes on to say that since the friendship between Gillis and himself is built on 'a meeting of minds and the enjoyment of studies in common,' Erasmus's gift of a book is much more appropriate (Erasmus [1514] 1976, 3: 43-4).

What Strategies for Decentring? 23

Small objects like knives served as tokens of important relationships in the Europe of the sixteenth century, tokens that sustained trust. Small metal gifts could also be used to maintain good will in a community, as when the Sire Gilles de Gouberville distributed pins and needles to the women and girls in his rural Norman parish on the day of his name saint (Gouberville [1549-62] 1993-4, 2:119, 211, 293, 371). Moreover, small metal objects were useful to Europeans. Every man outside the nobility had a knife of some size on his belt (the nobleman, of course, had his sword); every working woman had pins and needles on her sleeve. On the other side of the Atlantic, this European perspective changed: small useful objects that had considerable meaning as a sign of a friendship and community in Europe became no longer the token, but the substance of gift exchange and barter with the peoples of the Americas. The latter were not friends and neighbours, but strangers and 'savages.' They responded to the distribution of gifts with what seemed to Europeans an excessive delight, and the European discourse of 'little value' and 'little worth' began. Jean de Lery among the Tupinamba provides a later sixteenth-century example: One day when I was in a village, my moussacat (he who had received me into his house) entreated me to show him evetything I had in my caramemo, that is, in my leather sack. He had brought to me a fine big earthen vessel in which I arranged all my effects. Marvelling at the sight, he immediately called the other savages and said to them: 'I pray you, my friends, consider what a personage I have in my house for since he has so many riches, must he not be a great lord?' And yet, as I said, laughing with a companion of mine who was there with me, what this savage held in such high esteem was in sum five or six knives with different kinds of handles, and as many combs, mirrors, and other small objects that would not have been worth two testoons in Paris ... They love above all those who show liberality; since I wanted to exalt myself even more than he had done, I gave him freely and publicly, in front of everyone, the biggest and handsomest of my knives, which he set as much store by as might someone in our France who had just received a golden chain worth a hundred crowns. (Lery [1578] 1990, 169)

Lery's response to the Brazilians, retold later when he was a Reformed pastor, would have been unlikely or unacceptable in France. In the gift-mode his jeering at the expansive gratitude of recipients would have been rude. If anything, in France, the common complaint was that people were not grateful enough. In the exchange-mode in France,


Natalie Zemon Davis

misleading a buyer or barterer about the quality or value of goods was reproved by the laws of the moral economy. The weights were supposed to be true, the wine not watered, the bread composed of the advertised mixture of flours. Thus, in regard to the 'savages,' the customary giving of useful signs of a relationship became the deceptive bestowal of goods the European believed overvalued, an attitude unabashedly reported in travel accounts. Can we speculate that this had some effect on European attitudes towards exchange more generally? Certainly, it reinforced the smugness with which Europeans thought they could take advantage of the indigenous peoples of Europe's New World. Was it perhaps also a factor in the long-term erosion of Europe's own moral economy? 'Let the buyer beware' was an ancient admonition; 'let the seller push for as much profit as he or she can' may have come in part from these transactions along the St Lawrence and Brazil's Guanabara Bay. One of the limits of the gaze strategy in 'decentring the Renaissance' - even in this more dynamic version - is that it puts all the attention on the Europeans and what they think. The indigenous peoples remain characters and fantasies in European plots. A second strategy, more the work of ethnographers and social historians, has been to privilege both Amerindians and Europeans as actors and reactors, constructing their relations primarily in terms of the polarity of domination and resistance. All of us are grateful for Bruce Trigger's grounded and dynamic portraits of Native-newcomer interaction (Trigger 1985; [1976] 1987). Interestingly enough, a focus on women and gender has been a primary stimulus to studies that dethrone Europeans and give agency to indigenous peoples, from Eleanor Leacock's pioneering analysis of the Jesuit program for remaking the woodlands family on a hierarchical model and the resistance to it from Montagnais women (Leacock 1980) to Carol Devens's Countering Colonization: Native American Women and Great Lakes Missions (1992). Describing the Peruvian Andes in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, Irene Silverblatt has shown how the Andean curanderas, known as 'witches' in Inquisition records, both healed their neighbours and worshipped an amaru figure, a bearded serpent, whom the Inquisitors called a devil. As Silverblatt explains, 'sporting a blazing beard, the symbol of European manhood, this amaru embodied some of the diabolic powers of... [the] Spanish oppressors. But he also embodied the powers of Andean serpents-in-springs: the eruptive energies unleashed by severe social imbalance. "Amaru" charged revolt, even revolution, in the Andes' (Silverblatt 1994, 267-8). Indeed Tupuc Amarus

What Strategies for Decentring? 25

was the name of the last Inca king who had resisted the Spanish, and his name would be taken again in subsequent revolts. In seventeenth-century Quebec, the Ursuline Marie de 1'Incarnation has left us a picture of another kind of resisting woman. A Wendat (Huron), 'one of the oldest and most notable of [her] nation,' rose up at a village assembly to explain why her people were dying of a new disease: It's the Black Robes who are making us die by their spells. Listen to me, I will prove it by reasons that you will recognize as true. They set themselves up in a village where everyone is feeling fine; no sooner are they there but everyone dies except for three or four people. They move to another place, and the same thing happens. They visit cabins in other villages, and only those where they have not entered are exempt from death and illness. Don't you see that when they move their lips in what they call prayer, spells are coming out of their mouths? It's the same when they read their books. They have big pieces of wood in their cabins [guns, Marie explains parenthetically] by which they make noise and send their magic everywhere. If they are not promptly put to death, they will end up ruining the country, and no one will be left, young or old.

'When she stopped speaking,' Marie concluded, 'everyone agreed that this was true' (Guyart [1626-72] 1971, no. 50, 117-18; my translation). Marie de 1'Incarnation's account is all the more remarkable since it was written against her grain, her own preference being so strong for women converts who used their native tongue to speak on behalf of a woodlands Christianity. Resistance could even explode in the course of gift exchange, interrupting its polite conventions by unexpected denunciation. Carder reported such a move by the sons of lord Donnacona, Taignoagny and Domagaya, whom he had taken back to France with him for a year. After they returned, the young men initially told their father they had been well treated in France, but soon they cooled towards Carder and his men. The sons tried to detach the three children whom Donnacona had presented to the Frenchmen and to keep young women away from the French ships. To prevent Carder from proceeding up the St Lawrence to the town of Hochelaga, Taignoagny and Domagaya mounted an elaborate performance, with advice from the spirit world against the trip. Failing in that, they moved to more direct assault when the French returned from their voyage. Iroquoians came to the boats bearing eels and fish, and Carder then gave them knives, beads, and 'other little


Natalie Zemon Davis

things' (aultres menues choses). Whereupon Taignoagny and Domagaya began to harangue the Iroquoians, telling them that 'what we were giving them was not worth anything [sahauty quahonquey] and that they could just as well get axes as knives for what they were giving us' (Carder 1924, 187-8) .2 So the sons of the Agouhanna turned their year in France against the men in the big wooden boats. As rich as have been the yields from the strategy of domination and resistance, it, too, has its limits. The beacons of polarity leave obscure many other kinds of transaction and intention, the many ways in which actors learn from each other and share a common if not always a peaceable language, the role of go-betweens and intermediaries - in short, what Richard White has called 'the middle ground,' the accumulated practices of Amerindians and Europeans in dealing with each other diplomatically, violently, in anger, and in friendship (White 1991, x-xi, 50-3). Our third strategy for decentring the Renaissance, then, is to describe that middle ground, or what we might better call the associated processes of exchange and mixture. Homi Bhabha has used the term 'hybridity' for this process, trying to free the term from its racial connotation. English discourse in India quoted or incorporated Indian views, and, in so doing, undermined or softened the grounds of its own authority. Indians participated in English ventures and used English writings, but took them in quite different directions, creating a 'third space,' an 'in-between space,' from which to look at the world (Bhabha !Q94> 37-8, 102-22; 1995, 337-8). Some Caribbean writers have recently used the word creolite to describe past and present interactions in their islands - indeed, celebrating it in Eloge de la Creolite (Bernabe, Chamoiseau, Confiant 1989). I've also suggested the term metissage culturel for this type of interaction (Davis i995a). Whatever term we use, this third strategy puts certain forms of inquiry in the foreground. It focuses our attention on the women and men who participate in multiple worlds, either temporarily, moving back and forth, or more permanently through marriage or union. Pierre-Esprit Radisson is an example: Provencal by birth, servant of France and then of England, explorer among Algonquian peoples, captive and adoptive son among the Mohawk. The mixture and strains in his writing have been analysed by Germaine Warkentin (Warkentin 1996). Jennifer S.H. Brown and Sylvia Van Kirk have described the marriages of European men and Amerindian women in different parts of Canada (Brown 1980; Van Kirk 1980). Rolena Adorno has gone on to examine some remarkable children from such families: Mexican and Peruvian historians of

What Strategies for Decentring? 27

mixed parentage in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. She shows them to be 'ethnographers of their own cultural hybridization.' In their claims for rightful status for indigenous peoples, their works have interesting similarities to contemporary Morisco writings in Spain (Adorno 1994,400-1). What can we learn, for example, from the turbulent life of people such as the Montagnais Pastedechouan? Skilled in French and Latin from his five years in Angers, he served as an interpreter for the English, and a teacher of Montagnais and composer of a dictionary for the French. He then moved from the side of the Jesuit Le Jeune to that of his own brother, the celebrated shaman Carigouan, changed from one troubled marriage to the next, and finally perished of starvation in the woods. Should we see Pastedechouan, as has one commentator (Grassman 1966), as merely 'an early victim of French-Indian cultural conflict ... a tragic example of one aspect of the European impact on Indian culture'? Or should we view him rather as a seventeenth-century man with multiple and contradictory resources, striving to find his way of being in the world in a coercive setting - as serious and significant in his efforts as, say, Uriel da Costa, the Portuguese converse who found his way back to the Jewishness of his ancestors in Amsterdam, lived there in torment and conflict with rabbinical Judaism, and ended up a suicide? In pursuing our strategy of mixture and exchange, we can examine not only individual lives but also cultural patterns and practices that incorporate diverse elements. In the example from the Peruvian Andes, the healing woman's amaru had a Spanish beard to add fuel to its power. Silverblatt also describes a group of virgin women who sustained secretly the worship of the gods and goddesses of their ayullus - that is, their local polities. Their virginity had perhaps some sanction from earlier Inca tradition, but it surely received its impetus from the imported Marian Christianity of the Spanish. Indeed, the special name given these virgins of the Andes was Maria (Silverblatt 1994, 268-70). In Canada, the religious expressiveness of Catherine (Kateri) Tekakwitha, daughter of a Mohawk warrior and his Algonquin enemy-wife, is another example of improvised 'hybridity.' Her vow of perpetual virginity before her Jesuit confessor in 1679 took a Catholic motif and wove it into the ascetic style and women's sociability of the woodlands. At the time of her death a year later, she had drawn around her a group of other women determined not to marry, 'Catherine's Sisters,' who carried on their tasks together in the woods, talked of God and their spiritual adventures, and disciplined their shoulders with rods (Cholenec

28 Natalie Zemon Davis

[1696] 1940, 239-335). Here was a form of women's communal life without the Catholic enclosure of the Ursulines and without the sexuality of the longhouse (Shoemaker 1995, 61-6). Gift exchange and barter also can be examined in terms of the creation of a middle ground and system of common practices. In 1623, according to Gabriel Sagard's description of the Huron, they lacked the wariness that Taignoagny and Domagaya had urged upon the St Lawrence Iroquoians a century before. To show how gallant they are, [the Huron] do not willingly bargain and will be satisfied with what one gives them honestly and reasonably, despising the ways of our merchants, who will bargain for an hour about the sale of a beaver skin' (Sagard [1632] 1990, 22O, my translation). Not many years later, with the increase in French settlement and fur traders, the Amerindians had become familiar with an exchange system different from both their festive and neighbourly gifts to each other and from the formal donations of their diplomacy. Now when the Algonquins assembled with their beaver pelts at Tadoussac, they refused to trade with the first French boats that arrived, waiting for other merchants to see who would give them the best exchange (Ray and Freeman 1978, 20). On the French side, we also see the adaptation of certain Amerindian styles. In France, a would-be recipient could ask for a gift, but, in principle, a donor was not to specify to a recipient what precise return was expected on a gift. That would be a form of bribery. In Canada, as we know, the presentation of wampum belts and furs as part of diplomacy or for reparation for bloodshed was always accompanied by requests for specific outcomes, phrased with the high rhetorical skills of the woodlands. So the tall Kiotseaeton, orator for the Mohawk, Keepers of the Eastern Door, presented wampum belts at a 1645 peacemaking assembly with Algonquin, Montagnais, Attikamegue, and French, whom he invited to visit the Iroquois. As Marie de 1'Incarnation relates, he said 'I have seen people perish in these bubbling waters. This [wampum belt] is to appease them.' And with his hands he stopped the torrents and subdued them into tranquillity. 'And this one is to calm the great lake of Saint Louis and render it as smooth as ice, and appease the anger of the winds, the tempests and waters' ... And attaching the present to the arm of a Frenchman, he drew him straight to the middle of the stage to show that our canoes could go to their ports without difficulty. Then, opening the trail by land ... he cut down trees, broke off branches,

What Strategies for Decentring? 29 pushed back forests, and filled valleys with earth. 'There! The whole trail is clean and smooth.' And he lowered himself to the ground to flatten all the countryside ... and see if there was any stone or piece of wood that could hinder walking. 'Now you'll be able to see the smoke in our villages all the way from Quebec.' (Guyart [1626-72] 1971, no. 92, 256; my translation)3

The Jesuits, deeply appreciative of eloquence wherever they heard it, began to follow the Amerindian practice in their own diplomacy though not always with as much skill and indirection: 'We give you this present to signify to the Onondaga elders that if they want the Jesuit Fathers to come back, they'll bring your daughters to the Ursuline mothers' (LeJournaldesjesuites [1871] 1893, 244; my translation).4 Finally, in our exchange-and-mixture strategy, we can follow the objects themselves. For instance, wampum belts have multiple meanings for the Iroquoians: they not only carry messages, but are also connected with healing and peacemaking and with luminous power and goodness. As they move to Europeans in North America, they have other meanings - diplomatic, economic, and religious - and still others as they cross the ocean and are displayed in a cabinet of curiosity (Helms 1994, 370-7).5 Thomas Cummins has published a study of Mexican pictorial manuscripts that were made initially to record tribute and then used as evidence to determine outcomes before Spanish-Mexican courts (Cummins 1995)- With the treaty messages of the wampum beads and the pictorial system of the Mexican painter, we have examples of Europeans accepting non-European systems of evidence. Possibly we have, too, the incorporation of European forms of storytelling and linear representation into the non-European artefact. The field opened by the strategy of exchange and hybridity is a vast one. With it, have we exhausted our strategies for decentring the Renaissance? I think not, for the gaze, polarities, and mixtures still do not address the question of how to place European and Amerindian cultures, of how to frame them historically in relation to each other. In the early modern period, a frequent European view was that Amerindian peoples represented an earlier stage of European society itself. This was a relatively benign response, more respectful of Amerindian potentiality than the view that found it permanently childlike or 'savage.' Well into the nineteenth century, commentators still viewed the Amerindian past this way, and into our own time such a construction is carried on in evolutionary ethnography. But why take such a position, asks Johannes Fabian in Time and the Other

30 Natalie Zemon Davis

(1983). Isn't this yet another example of colonial mentality? Furthermore, evolutionary stage theory is a poor predictor of the actual turn of events. What is proposed instead is to look at cultures in contact with each other in terms of absolute simultaneity, radical contemporaneity. In practice, this means a strategy of symmetrical comparative analysis, of understanding societies, where relevant, in terms of like or parallel efforts towards similar goals, rather than in terms of one society doing an earlier version of what the other society knows how to do better. Thus, Walter Mignolo, in an important book, The Darker Side of the Renaissance (1995), compares two sets of narratives - the writings of Peter Martyr with the Mexican picto-ideographic codices, the Historia general de las Cosas de Nueva Espana of the Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagun with the Maya Books ofChilam Balam- and finds them alike 'in their respect and love for human intelligence and wisdom, and for the acquisition and transmission of knowledge to the young' (Mignolo 1995, 216). Nonetheless, he asserts that they differ in important ways: Martyr and Sahagun working to spread western literacy and reconfigure and use the European classical tradition; the Mexican and Mayan texts working to preserve Amerindian memories while reformulating their own classical tradition. Mignolo calls his interpretive move a decolonizing of modernity. I tried to do something similar earlier in this essay when I suggested a comparison between Pastedechouan's trajectory and that of Uriel da Costa, between Tekakwitha's sisters and the Ursuline sisters. Elsewhere I've suggested that we can compare the developments in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe in diplomacy and its rhetoric with those going on at the same time in the Eastern woodlands: the latter are not to be assessed as a primitive version of the former, but as two simultaneous political and cultural events (Davis 1994, 249-56; Davis I995b, 123-8). Such an approach, if you will, circles back to an eighteenth-century universalism insofar as it seeks for signs of the common in human experience; but it diverges from this universalism by insisting at the same time on the existence of strong and concrete cultural difference and the importance of divergent context. It also does not set up European Man as the universal model. Such an approach leaves many problems unsolved: for instance, how do we evaluate differences in technology and in means of communication within the frame of 'absolute simultaneity'? Yet, as a thought experiment, it clears the mind. Never again need we believe that an overawed Montagnais standing in stunned admiration of a godlike Father Le Jeune with his writing tablet (as pictured in the film Black Robe) is the only way to imagine Amerindian

What Strategies for Decentring? 31

encounters with literacy. We could just as well picture Amerindian makers and users of mnemonic and recording devices - memory sticks and wampum belts - swapping data with the Jesuit about techniques and tools. Literacy would still make a difference, but its impact would be on a complex society of trained adults, not on primitives (Wogan 1994; Boone and Mignolo 1994; Mignolo 1995, ch. 3-4; Warkentin 1999). These four strategies for decentring the Renaissance are not proposed as mutually exclusive. Nor are they offered in an evolutionary scheme: the gaze the simplest, the symmetrical comparative analysis the most complex. All are difficult: the first three require difficult research strategies and analysis; the last is more of a thought experiment, a way to approach one's evidence. Limiting oneself wholly to a single approach doing everything in the register of mixture and exchange, for example would risk neglecting the register of deep conflict, the moments when cleavage and polarity are the order of the day. We make our choices, but try not to forget the other perspectives. Readers may be feeling a little dizzy after all this decentring. If we decentre and decentre, where will we have a place to stand? What will our final narrative look like? How will it cohere? What will be its overall story, if it is not simply European triumph, or colonial resistance and ultimately freedom? I think we can stand wherever we are as scholars and locate ourselves historically, identifying our own place and what shadow or light it casts upon our endeavour. And perhaps we can take a leaf from the three Caribbean writers of Eloge de la Creolite. Our history, they said, is African, Indian, Carib, Chinese, European. It is not made of a single strand, but is a braid, 'une tresse d'histoires' (Bernabe, Chamoiseau, Confiant 1989, 26). What the braided histories of the decentred Renaissance will be like, we do not fully know yet. But that they will include on equal terms the many peoples that make up that past will be the source of their strength. NOTES l In describing the desperation to which he, his fellow passengers, and the crew were reduced on the return voyage from Brazil to France because of lack of provisions, Lery mentioned the cannibalism by a Protestant family of Sancerre during the seige of that Reformed town in 1574 (212). The 'brutal action' of the 'savages' he compared to the brutality of Catholics, the 'denaturing' of his European shipmates to the denatured behaviour of Protestants.

32 Natalie Zemon Davis 2 'Les deulx meschans que [nous] avyons apportez leur disoient et donnoyent a entendre que ce que nous leur baillons ne vailloit riens, et qu'ilz auroyent aussitost des hachotz comme des couteaulx pour ce qu'ilz nous bailloyent.' And 'Cela ne vault rien, Sahauty quahonquey' (187-8; my translations). 3 Even in the mediated French version presented by Marie de 1'Incarnation and in the Jesuit and other reports she is recording, one can get some sense of the power and drama of the original version. 4 The contrast between Amerindian and Jesuit eloquence in the course of gift bestowal is evident in the Jesuits'journal, where quotations are recorded from both sides; see for example LeJournal [1871] 1893, 193-226. 5 See Trudy C. Nicks and Ruth Phillips, 'Decolonizing the Wampums: Living History from Dead Letters.' Paper presented at the conference 'Decentring the Renaissance: Canada and Europe in Multidisciplinary Perspective, 13501700,' Victoria University in the University of Toronto, 7-10 March 1996.

Inclusive and Exclusive Perceptions of Difference: Native and Euro-Based Concepts of Time, History, and Change Deborah Doxtator

In 1558, confronted by the differences in the ways Native peoples and Europeans perceived and structured their respective societies, Renaissance travel writer Andre Thevet asserted that the indigenous populations of North America, unlike Europeans, had neither religion, civility, nor books, and lived like 'beasts without reason' (Thevet [1558] 1878, 134-6). In 1603, writing of the Native groups he encountered, Samuel de Champlain remarked that since each person 'prayed in his heart just as he liked,' they in effect had 'no law among them and do not know what it is to worship God and pray to Him, living as they do like brute beasts' (Champlain 1922-36, 6: 52). In contrast, Native groups, although not always conciliatory, nonetheless sought out ways to incorporate Europeans into existing political and ideological structures, inviting Champlain, Jesuit missionaries, and others to come to live with them and to participate in their way of life (Dickason 1992, 103, 107). A fundamental element of Rotinonhsyonni1 diplomacy was the political necessity to achieve integrations so that, at least ideologically, Europeans and Iroquoians could perceive themselves to be brothers, one and the same people (Jesuit Relations [1610-1791] 1896-1901 [hereafter JR] 27: 25361). When Jacques Cartier encountered the Montagnais-Naskapi in 1534, he remarked on their ease of manners in their coming 'freely on board our vessels as if they had been Frenchmen' (Cartier 1924, 76). It wasn't that Renaissance explorers and observers did not see that Native groups had organized customs, languages, and beliefs. Nor were they unaware that indigenous information and knowledge were valuable to their survival on the continent and even had real parallels with their own intellectual traditions.2 It was that sixteenth-century Europeans saw themselves as separate from and superior to peoples who were not

34 Deborah Doxtator

Christian and capitalist (Dickason 1979, 182, 200-1). This separation of Native ideologies, forms of government, and religious beliefs from European ones, by virtue of their supposed 'inferiority,' was essential to the Europeans' taking possession of the 'new' world. Europeans perceived that indigenous North American beliefs and ways of seeing were incompatible with their own social, political, and religious systems. Missionization went hand in hand with economic expansion: Champlain refused to sanction French trade with Native groups unless they also accepted missionaries (Dickason 1992, 127). Missionaries were necessary to replace Native religions, languages, and customs with Roman Catholicism and French culture (Grant 1984, 31). In the twentieth century, writing about the 'Renaissance' in Canada, as well as the writing of North American history in general, seems also to be troubled by the idea that Native perceptions of history are not compatible with Euro-based ideas of history and change. Although both Native and non-Native historians have made attempts since the early nineteenth century to write histories that integrate Native and nonNative ideas of time, place, and history, the history of Canada remains firmly based in European, not indigenous, ways of seeing the past. By this I mean that although both Native perspectives and voices have been incorporated, the history of Canada remains firmly based in European deeds and actions (Trigger 1985, 48-9). Indigenous participation is at best viewed as marginal to the telling of Canadian history. As it stands now, tens of thousands of years of history in North America are deemed to be largely unknowable, the province not of history but of archaeology. 'Real' history does not begin until Europeans arrive (Trigger 1985, 4-5; Petrone 1990, 35-70). The writings of nineteenth-century Native historians such as David Cusick ([1827] 1848) or George Copway (1847; 1850) are more often viewed as sources of history than as themselves historiographic. The legacy of past definitions of difference as separate and exclusionary, instead of as interconnecting and inclusive, requiring incorporation into a whole, may have helped to obscure points of possible rapprochement between two different ways of ordering knowledge and conceptualizing the past. One fundamental point of separation between the two ways of conceptualizing the past has been the idea that Native people have 'myth' but not history. In 1541 the Franciscan friar Motolinia, who had written a history of New Spain, complained that most Aztec histories did not tell 'the truth' since they were mixed with 'dreams, illusions and superstitions' (Boone I994b, 50). The seventeenth-century Jesuits, in recording

Native and Euro-Based Concepts of Time, History, and Change 35

the stories and customs of the Huron and others, did so in order to better debunk them as 'superstition' and fallacies (Grant 1984, 32, 34). Laurie Anne Whitt has argued that, even into the twentieth century, 'the dominant knowledge system of the West' has often viewed indigenous knowledge systems as '"tainted" with a normative and spiritual component' that renders them 'mere superstition, the very antithesis of knowledge' (Whitt 1995, 236). Recent scholarship about South American indigenous history has begun to question assumptions that 'pre-literate societies' lack historical consciousness. As Terence Turner argues, the structuralist idea that indigenous societies see themselves as having 'static social systems,' with 'myth' but not 'history,' needs revision (Turner ig88a, 195-6). Yet the perception of the basis and structures of 'history' among indigenous peoples does differ dramatically from Euro-based concepts. Indigenous conceptualizations of history are not the same as those that came out of a European tradition. Turner argues that European history is based on a tradition that stems from Thucydides' emphasis upon retelling events in a chronological sequence as part of one universal history, but that other kinds of history order events as episodes, not strictly connected to one another in a set chronology (Turner I988b, 249-50). Alcida Ramos further argues that the separation of myth from history is part of a process of compartmentalization that is unnecessary in indigenous thought but essential to European-based ideas of rationalism and empiricism (Ramos 1988, 229). However, European-based histories are just as informed by their own cultural myths and symbols as are indigenous oral traditions — albeit perhaps less overtly. The twentieth-century assumption that historians must not make direct reference to their own myths is in itself a kind of cultural belief system. As Turner points out, cultural myth is usually compatible with, mutually informing of, and complementary to, narrative forms of history (Turner ig88b, 237). Narrative histories written now, like the accounts constructed in the time of first contact between Native peoples and Europeans, reflect differing cultural systems. Does this then mean that they are incompatible with one another? Centuries of syncretic adaptation of European-based ideologies and structures to Native knowledge systems by Native peoples would indicate otherwise. Renaissance explorers such as Champlain relied heavily upon Montagnais and Huron conceptual maps and geopolitical interpretations of their territories to make their own maps. In an essay elsewhere in this volume, Conrad Heidenreich argues that Champlain was success-

36 Deborah Doxtator

ful largely because he undertook to accept and incorporate Native technologies, outlooks, and ways of living. Germaine Warkentin has pointed out that some Renaissance Europeans such as Pierre-Esprit Radisson were able to form a synthesis of Native and European meaning since Native rituals and customs had many parallels within French court culture (Warkentin 1996, 67) Although seventeenth-century North American history has been written within the tradition of Thucydides' idea of the historical narrative, many of the actual intellectual forms operating during this time period were in fact enmeshed with Native intellectual constructs. Initially, treaties and diplomacy with Native groups in the Northeast took Native, not European, forms. Even though they sought to manipulate the process to their own gain, British and French officials learned and used the requisite Native protocols and metaphoric rhetoric that were based in Native religious and cultural conceptualizations of trade and military alliances (Foster 1984). Colonial documents bear testimony to the influence of Native names and languages, and Native concepts of seeing North America and living within it; yet the effects of colonial powers on Native cultures and their perceived cultural structures are usually central to the writing of this history, rather than the other way around (Druke 1987, 29-30). Life in seventeenth-century Canada was in many ways broadly bicultural, or at least syncretic, with both sides incorporating Native and non-Native ways of thinking and being. Why is this not reflected in the way that its history is written? Why is it that attempts to incorporate Native versions of seventeenth-century events by attending to Native oral traditions and stories have proved to be so frustrating to scholars who seek to write within the western tradition of historical writing? Do Native conceptualizations of history, focused as they are on episodes, clash fundamentally with western notions of time as made up of separate segments joined in a strict chronological sequence? Elsewhere in this volume Toby Morantz draws together for discussion several concerns that historians have regarding the incorporation of Native oral traditions into western historical narratives. One of central and enduring difficulty was the problem of separating current Native perceptions of the past from those of the Native people living at the time. Although Euro-based concepts of history can accept the idea that history is rewritten over time and that perspectives of the past change (White 1986, 488), it cannot accept the degree of temporal continuity and unity underlying Native concepts of history. Just as categories of what is 'myth' and what is empirically determined 'historical observation' must appear

Native and Euro-Based Concepts of Time, History, and Change 37

separate and distinct, so must the perspectives of groups of people separated by certain predetermined blocks of time. Clearly in the academic world there must be a gulf between the past and the present. David Lowenthal, in The Past Is a Foreign Country, explains that, since the Renaissance, distance between the past and present in western thought has been a useful cultural tool to legitimize change (Lowenthal 1985, 9, 77. 79, 233, 235). In discussing Australian colonial history, Paul Carter applies the term 'imperial history' to history that 'pays attention to events unfolding in time alone,' because such history seeks not so much to explain as to legitimate (Carter 1995, 375-6). Critics such as Derek Walcott have discerned that, as a result, 'amnesia is the true history of the New World' (Walcott 1995, 372). That the past is distinct, differentiated, and, thus, separate from the present has worked to create a mental gulf between the past and the present within contemporary mainstream North American societies. Native concepts of history find no gulf between different segments of time. Each time is different, but it does not mean that there is an impenetrable wall because of that difference. In a Seneca story that explains the origins of stories about the past, an old man from the world of the ancients comes to visit a boy who is hunting birds. He explains that the boy must come back to the same place by a large rock every night to hear the stories. Every night the boy returns and brings with him more and more people to listen until there is a great crowd. Ostensibly, some of the people have arrived at different times but they are nonetheless all part of the assembled crowd. The man who tells the stories explains that he and others like him have 'remained at home in the world that was' but can visit the world that is. There is little if any actual physical distance between the two worlds of what is and what was. They are different and distinct, yet rather than being separated by a gulf, they are in essence part of the same incorporated universe (Hewitt 1918, 680-1). Throughout this paper I have interspersed references to the 'seventeenth century' and the 'nineteenth and twentieth centuries,' not because I am unaware that events and people are different during these time periods, but because the continuities across time are essential to understand the 'Renaissance' in the twentieth century. Western societies based on European concepts also stress continuities, but in different ways and for different purposes. The most obvious example is the subtitle of this collection of essays: there, the word 'Canada' refers to a nation that did not really come into being in the sense discussed here until 1949, when Newfoundland joined the Canada begun in 1867.

38 Deborah Doxtator

'Canada' did not exist during the Renaissance, yet no one has any difficulty discussing this topic since the continuities seem apparent and useful for organizing discussion. Although Rotinonhsyonni concepts of time present no gulf between time periods, they do not imply a static lack of change any more than Euro-based concepts do. In fact in Rotinonhsyonni thought there is continual movement, not stasis. The creation story itself emphasizes this continual movement. For a while there is movement towards enlarging life (Spring) by Sapling, the elder brother of twins. This is followed by movement for a time back towards contraction (Winter), brought about by Flint, the younger of the twins. Although this cyclical movement is balanced, it is not productive of stasis. Each seasonal cycle is never exactly the same, and the overall result of varied repetition of cycles is the gradual growth, layering, and development of the earth - a continual state of change and transformation brought about by balanced forces interacting with one another. This Rotinonhsyonni idea that change is the product of repeated activities consolidating and subsuming interrelated structures is explained in a discussion of social change given by Cayuga linguist and ritualist Reg Henry: At the beginning ... when the Creator created this earth, somebody had to be responsible for the environment, for this earth, to keep it going, so he created a man to do this ... Later on he as looking at this man, seeing how he was doing ... in time, he seemed lost, had his head down and the Creator said, well, it seems like I'll have to get a companion for this man and see if that helps. Needless to say it did perk up the man quite a bit. They seemed to be getting on well, so the Creator said now I can officially put you together as man and wife; they give birth to children, a lot of children, and everything went well... there was sort of a large population of Indians then. Later on ... Creator was looking down and there was something wrong with these people. They were wandering around aimlessly, not really organized in what they were doing. And the Creator said, what I will do is give them clans. And since all their lives revolved around the woods, the clans were based on animals in the woods. So then they can start to organize and do for each other what was to be done ... so that was the beginning.3

As the story continues, things go on until a need for further organization arises at the Six Nations Confederacy level. Subsequently the Great

Native and Euro-Based Concepts of Time, History, and Change


Law (the Great Peace) and the introduction of the Four Ceremonies further organizes the connections of mankind to the natural world and to the Creator (Hewitt 1928, 558, 570; Wallace 1946, 5, 7). In this narrative, like many other Rotinonhsyonni representations of history, cyclical patterns continue their accumulative effect until change occurs as a result of those very patterns. No level of organization actually disappears: each is incorporated within institutions with larger and larger spatial contexts. History is an additive process, building upon what has gone before in a kind of consciously constructed continuity. In the creation story, the descendants of Odendoonniha and Awenhaniyonda, the first man and first woman, follow repeatedly the instructions of De'haen'hiyawa'kho - 'Sky Grasper' or the 'Creator' or 'he who finished our bodies' - until there are a great many people on the earth and it becomes apparent that an uneasy 'unfinished' situation has arisen in their relationships with one another: 'There was, as it were, absolute silence; they had no ceremony which they should have been performing, also no business that they should have been attending to; everything was just neglected, all was silent; they traveled about with their ohwachira [families]; it was so that one would think they only went about standing in different places' (Hewitt 1928, 558). Then De'haen'hiyawa'kho or 'Sky-Grasper' returns and establishes the Four Ceremonies (the Great Feather Dance, the Skin Dance, the personal chants, and the Betting Game). Added to and incorporated with the earlier idea of families travelling about is the idea of organized group activities centred on the change in seasons. To the initial idea of difference is added the idea that two things differing 'among themselves' bring contentment to the mind when they have reciprocal responsibilities to one another. The new pattern of the four ceremonies incorporates and centres on the concept of complementary differences between groups of people, between men and women, and between winter and spring. In adding the four ceremonies, nothing is lost or taken away: all is incorporated within the next addition, and differences actually function not to separate but to unify groups (Hewitt 1928, 605-7). The mysterious young man Ho'nigo'heowa'nen,' or 'His-Mind-IsGreat,' then introduces the idea of clans. Taking the ideas of family, difference, and reciprocal relationship among different groups, he creates groups of families or clans, separating them into two moieties that have reciprocal relations to one another. He recreates a 'middle' line between the two groups of clans. In so doing, he creates reciprocal relationships between the groups; these join everyone together into a whole

4O Deborah Doxtator

and yet keep them spatially distinct and separate from one another (Hewitt 1928, 605-7). Society is organized on the idea of unified difference on many different levels from the family to the moiety. Reciprocal relationships among family members are not repudiated by the larger clan moiety structure but rather are subsumed by it. Change, in this conceptualization of time and history, is not replacement, but incorporation and subsuming the structures of the past. Continuity without separating gaps is central to this view of history. The type of story discussed here is only one of the many different kinds of historical narratives that form part of Native conceptualizations of history. They provide the elements of how the world is structured; others tell of actual living people, movements, and interactions. In Native perceptions of history as continually moving continuities, oral traditions are ideally suited to recording and recounting these histories. During the diplomacy of the seventeenth century, Rotinonhsyonni and other Native peoples used councils to recount and continually update histories of interactions between nations (Druke 1987, 37-9). Knowledge was stored in symbolic form using images on wampum belts, birchbark, and fur pelt drawings, utilizing images that evoked concepts rather than reproducing spoken language. Richard Preston, as part of his work with Cree elders, has outlined two different kinds of Cree stories that make up their conceptualization of history: atiukan, or mythic stories about the creation of the world, and tipachimun, or stories of actual human beings in their everyday life (Preston 1975, 292). Historians have been most interested in the latter kind of oral narratives. In her essay in this volume, Toby Morantz invokes Elizabeth Tonkin's admonition to scholars to not pick out the currants and ignore the cake in their quest to find useful 'evidence' to corroborate their own culturally based perspectives (Tonkin 1992, 6). Without distortion of information it's not possible simply to pick out the types of historical narrative that look the most like Euro-based ideas of empirical, compartmentalized descriptions of actual events and include them as 'another perspective' in chronological Euro-focused histories. In any case, detailed accounts of events in the Renaissance period from the point of view of Native peoples are nearly non-existent in the seventeenthcentury European record (Trigger 1985, 125). In part this may be because seventeenth-century chroniclers could not see beyond their own cultures and the supposed 'lack' of organized law, government, history, and culture of Native groups. For example, Champlain concludes his lengthy description of Huron customs with the dismissive phrase

Native and Euro-Based Concepts of Time, History, and Change 41

'this is all I have been able to learn about their brutish beliefs' (Champlain 1922-36, 4:52). Radisson, for all his empathy, in the end saw the customs and ideas that he so carefully described as 'fabulous beleafes of those poore People' (Warkentin 1996, 59). Even the observant and culturally curious Moravians, who, like the Jesuits, learned Native languages, did not think it necessary to give more than passing reference to the 'Cayuga archives.' These 'pictures hanging in the trees' describing war exploits on the way to Onondaga were not seen as real history (Beauchamp 1916, 41). Further, seventeenth-century record keepers failed to recognize that wampum belts and pictographs were valid kinds of recording systems. In the minutes of innumerable council meetings with Native nations, only passing mention is made of wampum belts, and although the writer may indicate that these belts were hung up during a speech, they are almost never described in any detail or given much consideration in the written record. For instance, in records of seventeenth-century treaties made with John Livingston, the British Secretary for Indian Affairs, references to wampum are more concerned with quantity than in the patterns or intellectual imagery of the belts and strings. Frequent reference is made to 'a fathom of wampum' or 'a hank of wampum.' In 1683 at a treaty negotiation between the governor of New York and the Oneida, the record describes 'a belt 12 deep'; at the record of an Albany conference in 1704, the point is made that there were 'seven hands of wampum' (Leder 1956, 36, 39, 91, 197). Furthermore, in mid-eighteenth-century treaties with the Iroquois, kept by Sir William Johnson, the British Indian commissioner in the colony of New York, strings of wampum or wampum belts are mentioned but never described in terms of their patterns or intellectual imagery.4 Thus, any attempt to include Nativeauthored material in non-Native histories of the Renaissance period in North America is by necessity based on nineteenth- and twentiethcentury oral traditions. To try to distil from Native oral traditions narratives describing events that happened in the seventeenth century, or in other words to convert Native knowledge into something closer to what western historians consider knowledge, is to distort the information that these narratives contain. Usually this is a very difficult task in any case, as oral traditions do not normally contain conveniently dated signposts. In about 1825 David Cusick, a Tuscarora historian, attempted to write a chronological Six Nations history up to the arrival of Columbus in North America, based on nineteenth-century oral tradition. As he stated in his preface, it was

42 Deborah Doxtator

'impossible for [him] to compose the work without much difficulty' (Cusick [1827] 1848, [9]). The resulting history, although organized chronologically from the beginning of the world to the arrival of Columbus, is still much more focused on cultural structures than on the English calendar. The work requires the reader to be literate enough about Rotinonhsyonni culture to understand the allusions to 'stonecoats,' 'lake serpents,' 'flying heads,' or the 'tree of peace.' Even though Cusick organizes his history into three different kinds of narratives - the first mythic, the second 'legend and folklore,' and the third a 'history' of events - textual references to Rotinonhsyonni mythological/cultural symbols and metaphors occur throughout all three sections (Cusick [1827] 1848, 14, 16,24). Cusick places Rotinonhsyonni cultural content within a loose chronological framework that becomes increasingly more precise about location and place names as it begins to approach narrative history. This connection between the narrative and metaphors mentioned above, and specific places on the Great Lakes and on the Hudson, Mohawk, Susquehanna, and Ohio River watersheds, overshadows the occasional chronological reference to 'perhaps about two thousand two hundred years before the Columbus discovered the Americas' (Cusick [1827] 1848,25). The matrix of Rotinonhsyonni cultural identity has always been rooted in place and territory. In Mohawk the word for clan, otara, means land, clay, and earth. When one asks an individual what clan they belong to (oh nisen'taroten'), one is literally asking 'What is the outline or contour of your clay?' (Hewitt 1888). In seventeenth-century Rotinonhsyonni thought, an individual without a clan and a land base to which to belong was socially dead. As a nineteenth-century Native related, 'Our Ancestors has certain Marks, each Tribe [clan] had a certain Boundary or Line they called their own, of the Land the Great Spirit gave them' (Hough 1861, 278; see also Grassmann 1969, 651). For a nation not to have people organized into communities with which to maintain control over territories was to be no longer a people. Seneca and Mohawk clans carried out the so-called mourning wars of the 16308 and i66os to obtain people from other Native and European nations to fill the clans attacked by a series of devastating small-pox epidemics (Richter 1992, 145). Political independence required that the population be connected to particular land bases. Each of the Five and then Six Nations called themselves names that describe their seventeenth-century territories. For instance, the Seneca called themselves Nundawaona1 or 'Great Hill People,' the Cayuga Gueng-

Native and Euro-Based Concepts of Time, History, and Change 43

wehonior 'People of the Mucky Land,' and the Mohawk, Kahnye'kehaka or 'People of the Place of the Flint' (Brodhead 1853, 83). In the traditional story outlining the founding of the Confederacy, the Onondaga word for nation is tsyakauhwetsya'atta'shu', or 'earth, land be one,' implying that, in order to be a nation, a group of people must fundamentally share the same land. The term for nations outside the Confederacy of shared lands is thihotiohwentayatenyo, literally 'other land existing' (Gibson 1992, 109, 426). Seventeenth-century Europeans were also very interested in describing land in their accounts, but as part of the process of mapping resources, not in defining social relationships. The stories connected with place names and their relevance to Native intellectual concepts were not recorded in the seventeenth-century European record. In fact, European missionaries, traders, politicians, and cartographers often gave locations English or French names, obscuring the history contained within the Native place names. Even the names by which we as Native peoples discuss ourselves and are discussed in the written discourse are not our own: Huron, Iroquois, Algonquian, Montagnais are words derived from English or French approximations, often of names our enemies called us. The fundamental importance of Native languages to understanding Native history has been recognized by contemporary scholars (Brown and Vibert 1996, xiii), but very little of this essential information enters into general discussion. Would anyone attempt to write a history of the Renaissance in Ojibwa or Mohawk or Oneida and expect to enter into discussion with other scholars? In a sense, Native cultures with their particular conceptualization of difference solved this problem of communication across different cultures a long time ago. One of the strengths of a 'writing' system without words is that it can confer concepts and information without the participants having to share the same spoken language. Elizabeth Hill Boone questions the idea that indigenous cultures in North America did not have 'true writing,' pointing out that phonetical 'visual speech' (that is, alphabetical writing) is not superior to other forms of visual communication. Spatial, mathematical, and aesthetic concepts cannot adequately be conveyed by alphabetical text since there are some forms of thinking that can not be easily or precisely described by the inscribed spoken word (Boone I994a, 3-4, 9-13). During the Renaissance the printing press was invented in Europe. This revolutionized the written word by separating painting and drawing from visual representations of language. Drawings and illustrations became subordinate to mechanical

44 Deborah Doxtator

inscription, or, as some have argued, the 'taming' of the voice (Mignolo 1994,293-4). Still, European culture did have many other forms of record keeping than the written or printed word. In the early period of mapping North America, Native and European ideas were not incompatible. Renaissance cartographers reworked Native descriptions and maps that, like oral traditions, set out cosmologies, histories, and politics in a record of landmarks and landscapes. Early European maps were not precisely drafted on mathematical grids of scale and, with their illustrations making reference to classical myth, resembled Native maps and conceptualizations of the landscape that incorporated mythological, religious, historical, and political information (Brotherston 1992, 82). The difference, of course, was that although map making was a collaborative process, it was never acknowledged by Europeans as such. Again, the perception of difference as necessitating separation, and the necessity of European superiority to further their goal of colonization, coloured Renaissance Europeans' dealings with Native intellectual contributions to European records and constructions of knowledge about North America. The legacy of these ideas continues to influence contemporary ideas about the incompatibility of Native and Euro-based concepts of history. Jacques Derrida has challenged the fallacy that written text can ever stand alone or that oral and written script are mutually exclusive (Brotherston 1992, 42). Euro-based history is based upon its own mythologies, icons, and metaphors just as much as Native history. It also bends time to emphasize certain culturally important continuities but finds it difficult to accept Native continuities that stress different versions and structures of history. In Native world-views, such as the Rotinonhsyonni one briefly alluded to above, difference is inclusive in that relationships and interactions exist because of difference, not its absence. Native concepts of forming and transferring knowledge are based on kinds of concrete conceptual thinking that individualize or 'personalize' knowledge. These are not, as Champlain thought, just a case that each 'prayfsj in his heart as he thought good' (Champlain 1922-36, 1:117). How a person knows something is very important to its credibility to others. To speak from personal experience, as Robin Ridington writes, is to know with authority a complete but small part of the whole world (Ridington 1990, xv). In the Rotinonhsyonni conceptual world, to know something one must interact directly with a world that incorporates rather than separates out the mythic. Reality is experienced in an

Native and Euro-Based Concepts of Time, History, and Change 45

individualized, personalized way that is bounded by shared collective conventions. One's personalized experience of the mythic or spiritual is shaped by the collectively determined practices surrounding rituals and specialized interpretations of dreams (Shimony 1961, 30, 173). The descriptive, visual nature of the languages, the evocative power of the multiple meanings of concrete metaphors, and the means of recording knowledge (such as wampum belts) all support this kind of concrete, experientially based knowledge. To explain or discuss using metaphors requires one to think in ways that emphasize multiple meanings in parallel, and not in ways that focus on separate, distinct segments linked together in a linear chain. As a concrete, spatial way of explaining change and how the world works, successful metaphors must also integrate their varied expressions in a variety of contexts. In the seventeenth century, the Rotinonhsyonni people often referred to their leaders, territories, and social units such as clans by the same name. For instance, the leader of a prominent Oneida wolf clan village was known simply as 'the wolf (Jameson 1909, 144). The royaner (Six Nations Confederacy chief) clan titles themselves incorporated more than just reference to a single individual, since the title could refer to an individual, to the clan, or to an entire group of people and their lands. In the condolence ritual conducted by Captain John Deserontyou at Lachine in the 17908, the narrative signifying the Tyendinaga Mohawks begins 'I, the Tekarihoken.'' By this he meant the Mohawk's leading clan from which the Confederacy chief title descended, the Mohawk people themselves incorporated within this leading title, the land to which they belonged, and all the previous holders of this tide — four separate meanings and contexts, individually encapsulated within one another and all without any idea of contradiction or confusion (Deserontyou [1782] 1926, 139-40). Each meaning is different but not unconnected to or separate from the rest. Native and European-based histories have not developed in isolation from one another. Toby Morantz remarks on the dissatisfaction of treating Native history both as a separate 'parallel' version of history and as a source of information relevant to western ideas of history. Currently, Native knowledge systems interact with the writing of Canadian history from a position of marginalized opposition to a dominant narrative. Although it is essential that Native writing both speak to and understand colonization and issues of power and subjugation, it is just as important that Native intellectual traditions be more carefully understood for what they are, and not for what European-based conceptualizations have

46 Deborah Doxtator

assumed they have been and always will be. As Alcida Ramos reflects, 'to insist on dividing "primitive" from "historical" societies is to add to the intellectual apparatus of domination, to build a sort of indigenist Orientalism' (Ramos 1988, 230). Native intellectual traditions and Euro-based traditions need not operate in isolation because they are deemed mutually unintelligible to each other. If one looks at the Renaissance, it is possible to conclude that Europeans and Native peoples successfully communicated ideas and concepts across cultures. In the twentieth century, Louis Owens, writing about Native literatures, has observed that Native concepts of identity and of the essential dialogic nature of the world coincide with many of the tenets of western postmodern theory (Owens 1992, 6-12). Yet the discourse surrounding the history and interaction between cultures remains founded on oppression, bounded by ideas of a 'dominant' and 'subordinate' narrative. Ironically, this continued focus on the 'dominance' of the colonizer often serves to support the inequality being repudiated in the first place. If the primary basis for denying the equal compatibility of two knowledge systems is that Native concepts are different from western history's culturally determined categories, then perhaps the categories of history need to be re-examined, revised, and enlarged. Rather than trying to fit Native information into Euro-based structures of history, perhaps the interrelationships between Native and European histories need to be more closely examined. How could two groups of people have lived together for 500 years and not have influenced one another's thinking or have communicated with one another? Is the ambivalence of the Renaissance writer who painstakingly describes Native ideas and customs only to dismiss them as unimportant and uninfluential to his own thinking, part of the contemporary problem of perceiving how Native intellectual concepts relate to the writing of history in North America? Although not an intellectual impossibility, a true synthesis of traditions does not appear to have been historically sought out by either side. On the Native side, nations such as the Mohawk articulated the ideal of peaceful coexistence and non-interference with one another in the Kahswentha (Two Row Wampum), a seventeenth-century agreement made with the Dutch traders to ensure that neither side interfered with the other's customs (Ratelle 1992). This did not mean that there was no relationship between the two peoples. In fact the opposite was intended: it meant that the two would interact as equals. The European mythology of Native inferiority and the idea of 'primitivism' underlay nineteenth-

Native and Euro-Based Concepts of Time, History, and Change 47

and twentieth-century assimilation policies designed to get rid of the separating 'differences.' They functioned to preclude European acceptance of Native intellectual concepts as equal to their own (Berkhofer 1978,24,29-30). The writing of the history of the Renaissance in Canada and North America is the intellectual product of interactions between Native and European peoples, yet, except for the story of the relationship between the two based on colonization, one rarely knows that. European and Native concepts of history, time, and change are not the same. Furthermore the differences, once perceived, are not sufficient to explain why it appears as if Native concepts have been excluded, marginalized, and deemed unimportant to the writing of the history of the North American continent in general. If the reasons are primarily political and ideological, then perhaps it is to the ending of marginalization of indigenous knowledge systems that postcolonial debates will ultimately lead. NOTES 1 This is the Mohawk word for Iroquois. Unless otherwise stated, all terms will be in Mohawk. 2 Missionaries made good use of points of convergence in Native and European ideas in order to explain their faith and persuade people to convert; see Grant 1984. 3 Sam Cronk, 'Reg Henry's Cultural Discussion at Cayuga Language Class, May *5 199°> Six Nations, Ontario.' Recorded by Sam Cronk (unpublished manuscript). 4 Johnson 1921-65, 3: 782-91; 4: 466-9, 'three strings,' 'A bunch of black Wampum'; 471, 'A Belt.' 5 Each of these words is in the language of the nation naming itself; the spellings are mine, not Brodhead's.

Plunder or Harmony? On Merging European and Native Views of Early Contact Toby Morantz

Contact, direct face-to-face contact, between the Cree of James Bay and Europeans happened in the spring of 1611 somewhere near the mouth of the Rupert River. This was during Henry Hudson's voyage of discovery from England, which had begun the previous summer. A Cree man visited the ship while it was ice-bound. On their return voyage, the crew mutinied, and Hudson, his son, and others were set adrift in a small boat to perish. Nevertheless, an account of this first recorded meeting was left by a member of the crew, Abacuk Pricket. In Pricket's version, the Cree visitor to the ship gratefully ('thankefully') receives from Hudson 'a knife, a looking-glass and buttons,' returning the next day with two caribou skins and two beaver skins. The Cree man presented Hudson with the beaver skins in exchange for the items he had received the previous day. Pricket relates, 'then the master shewed him an hatchet, for which hee would have given the master one of his deere skinnes, but our master would have them both, and so hee had, although not willingly' (Asher 1860, 114). The Cree oral account provides us with a different view of this meeting. Rather than the Native visitors to the ship (in this account, a husband and wife) being grateful or delighted with the exchange (or greedy), it is the English who sound thrilled (or greedy) and the Cree amused. This story was originally told to anthropologist Colin Scott in 1979 at Wemindji, James Bay, by Geordie Georgekish: Their jackets were made of fur from animals that he trapped. So people on the ship gave them some other clothes to wear. 'Take your clothes off they were told, and they understood what they were told. Tut these clothes on' they were told. (Narrator's aside: I guess they took their clothes off where

On Merging European and Native Views of Early Contact 49 nobody could see them. There must have been a small room where they could undress.) So the woman, whose pants were made of muskrat fur, removed her pants. And they went home wearing the clothes that the people from the ship had given them. (Scott 1983, 230)'

Although these two versions of first contact in James Bay are recognizable as describing the same encounter, it is apparent each brings to the fore a different perspective. The English account emphasizes the Cree's delight with things the English would consider trifling items, while the Cree narration mentions nothing of such goods. Instead, it highlights their amusement with the English desire for their clothes, no doubt trifling items, as well, for the Cree. On the surface, then, there is a paradoxical concordance between these western and non-western versions of an event that is important in North American history. However, much like the icebergs that Hudson must have encountered, only a small fraction of the Cree story is apparent to the western-trained mind; most of the messages and lessons to be conveyed remain submerged, and consequently out of our view. The Cree of eastern James Bay are Algonquian speakers who have occupied this territory for several thousand years. Upon its creation in 1670, the Hudson's Bay Company began to establish fur trade posts in Cree territory, locating them at favoured Native meeting places. Today, the Cree are settled in nine villages on these same meeting sites. Before adopting village life, the Cree lived in small extended family groups, hunting, trapping, and fishing (Francis and Morantz 1983). It was within these family settings, around the campfire, that the elders would tell stories that encompassed their knowledge of Cree cosmology, history, and values. Can this oral tradition be used to construct a unified history of the relations of these two groups? Will academic historians ever be able to write the history of the first encounters (or any other encounters) between the Cree and the new arrivals that conveys, in the telling of such events, the intent, substance, and lessons intrinsic to both the Cree and Euro-Canadians? Can there be a single history that reflects both perspectives? The one draws on a rich, ancient oral tradition, and the other on an equally rich, relatively ancient recorded one, but each is embedded in radically different cultural contexts. This paper explores whether there is enough common ground between the two to create a single narrative that adequately reflects the actions, judgments, feelings, convictions, values, and ideas of both sets of actors. History, we are told,

5O Toby Morantz has become more democratic, more challenging of single narratives, and more receptive to including diverse accounts (Appleby, Hunt, and Jacob 1994, 293). The interest of such historians in integrating oral text with the written stems from the expectation that histories and or ethnohistories produced today will call on all sources, with some privileging of the Native views of history (Trigger 1982, 7). Yet whereas most of the papers in this volume celebrate new insights and new perspectives on the early encounters - as well they should - this one, alas, sounds a note of caution about how self-congratulatory academic historians can be in believing they have the means to unravel the Native past. I do not mean to suggest that historians discard oral tradition, but rather that historians need to think carefully of what distortions they might be creating in absorbing oral text into a new written historical narrative. The concern with the 'Native voice' is relatively recent in the field of ethnohistory. This subfield, wed of anthropology and history in the late 19505, pioneered the rescuing of Native peoples from their place in the background, restoring them to centre stage in the unfolding histories of Canada and the United States. Histories of the fur trade began to locate the Native hunters and their families exactly where they were in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century developments of the trade: squarely in the forefront, making decisions about alliances, the standard of exchange, the location of posts, the routes that were used, the commodities that were traded, and so on (Ray 1974; Bishop 1974; Francis and Morantz 1983). Important as this contribution to history was, it began to occur to ethnohistorians that this writing-m of Native actors was not sufficient. The changing focus highlighted the fact that these ethnohistories did not account for the motivations behind the actions of Native peoples or for these people's values or perceptions of events. Native peoples were totally submerged in the western narrative, form, and themes. Writing in 1974, Raymond Fogelson drew attention to the ethnocentrism in ethnohistoric writings, and remarked that 'native interpretation of critical events and significant historical personages are un- or underrepresented in ethnohistorical research' (Fogelson 1974, 106). Such concerns obviously were fundamental to Bruce Trigger's thinking. In his Children of Aataentsic: A History of the Huron People to 1660, first published in 1976, he presented a Huron-centred history based on chronicles left by the Jesuits and early French explorers, and on the archaeological record. Such an ethnohistory was far ahead of its time in its attempt to

On Merging European and Native Views of Early Contact


impute motive and explain action. Using an interpretive framework predicated on rationalism and an analysis based on decision-making by interest groups, Trigger crafted a highly credible, fascinating, and elegant narrative, depicting not only seventeenth-century Huron life but the choices and strategies the Huron forged in turbulent times as they confronted the French and the Huron's Iroquois adversaries. Nevertheless, even though Trigger's study, in directing his interest and analysis to individual Huron and French actors, was light years ahead of Eric Wolfs Europe and the People without History (1982), today it would likely fall prey to Stephen Hugh-Jones's criticism of the latter, more global history. Hugh-Jones commented that Wolf 'aims to give back history to those who have been denied it but the history he provides is doubly our own; not only is it dominated by our European world, it is also seen through our western eyes' (Hughjones 1989, 53). Trigger anticipated such criticisms in his preface to the 1987 second edition of The Children ofAataentsic and welcomed the new insights that would add to an understanding of Huron culture (Trigger [1976] 1987, xxx). He accepted that there were costs as well as benefits in privileging the rationalist approach and that he might have downplayed 'the culturally specific factors that shaped the Huron way of life' (xxii). Others, working with societies not caught up in events as cataclysmic as those facing the Huron, discovered a rich and substantial extant oral tradition that they hoped would provide these 'culturally specific factors.' The value of oral tradition for African history had already been strikingly demonstrated by Jan Vansina in 1965, and anthropologists working in North America began exploring its use and applicability to the ethnohistories they were developing. My introduction to Cree oral tradition came originally from 'Cree Way,'2 a curriculum development project at Rupert House (Waskaganish), and later from the field notes of a number of anthropologists whose reports were on deposit at the former Museum of Man (now the Canadian Museum of Civilization). The stories collected by this project cover a variety of themes, from hardships on the land to the Natives of long ago, from confrontations with enemies to the mountainous land of the caribou, but mostly they are of a mix of human and non-human characters, of trickster figures, of malevolent spirits or beings. These stories often contain detailed portrayals of the social setting, often mirroring contemporary Cree life and a recurring theme of supernatural power - or 'medicine,' as it is sometimes called - that could be used to good or evil ends (see Bauer 1973, i). With this collection from the Cree Way project on hand, I was certain

52 Toby Morantz

I would be able to correct, partially, the European biases of my earlier histories, based, as they were, only on the journals and correspondence books of the Hudson's Bay Company. I published a paper in 1984 on the blending of oral and recorded history (Morantz 1984), full of hope that the evidence from the two types of histories could be merged to produce a history informed by both English and Cree perceptions. I have never written such a volume. Moreover, I know I never can. I am now sceptical about ever achieving a kind of blended, universal history that does justice to both cultural traditions. I question whether using both the written texts of the Europeans and the oral texts of Native peoples will yield anything but a low-level understanding. Will it ever approximate for the Native peoples the quality of insights into perception, motivation, and interests that Canadian historians can generate for the European conduct in a given Native territory? I question our ability to turn oral tradition into historical text, as we know it, and at the same time capture the Native perception of events and their significance. Instead, I suggest that the production of histories, such as those attempting to reflect first meetings and early contact, can adequately be met only by not wrenching each history from its cultural habitat; the alternative, as I see it, is to produce different accounts according to the cultural expertise of the writers. Different Histories Western history today is undergoing change as historians attempt to find some acceptable balance between postmodern critiques, which are based on the concept of relativism, and the more traditional western science-based model of objective truth or knowledge, an issue that took hold in the 19708 and 19805. The latter model is criticized by Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt, and Margaret Jacob, authors of Telling the Truth about History (1994, 217), for producing histories that always involve power, are exclusionary, and portray only partial points of view (11). In contrast, the concept of relativism holds that the 'truth of a statement is relative to the position of the person making the statement' (6). Thus, this concept raises doubts about the ideal of objectivity in history. The position of Appleby, Hunt, and Jacob is that the creation of knowledge today requires 'a different, more nuanced, less absolutist kind of realism ... [a] practical realism' (247) that perforce requires historians to accept the impossibility of any research being neutral or any interpretations being other than tentative and imperfect (254). The authors champion

On Merging European and Native Views of Early Contact


the cause of writing multicultural history, whether 'cacophonous or harmonic' (301). Nonetheless, they maintain that some principles must be preserved. These principles seem to reflect the 'traditional' core of western historical knowledge that persists despite its state of flux. I want to examine them here in order to develop a comparison between western historiography and Cree and other non-western histories. Appleby and her co-authors expect that historians will adhere to the rigorous search for truth through commonly accepted standards of inquiry, scrutiny, and verification. As well, they see the continuation of the nineteenth-century development of a so-called universal, real, and sequential temporal dimension in which the past informs the present (53. 59> 265). For them, narratives, although attacked by postmodernists as 'fictitious,' are essential both to individual and social identity (235), and they favour a style of narrative, recognizing that, like lives, there is a beginning, middle, and end (263). Furthermore, history must be based on a qualified objectivity, one that draws in the undeniable elements of subjectivity through which historians should seek to understand 'the internal dispositions of historical actors' - their motivations, their responses to events, and the ideas that shaped their social world (259). These are not the principal constraints or requirements of Cree oral histories, though there are some convergences. The Cree, as other Algonquian- and non-Algonquian-speaking Native peoples, distinguish between two types of oral tradition, which they term atiukan and tipachiman? though Richard Preston sees this distinction more as a gradation than a dichotomy (R. Preston 1975, 292; and see Vincent 1981, 11, and Scott 1983, 21). The former refers to myths, stories concerning the creation of the world when people and animals were not differentiated. Sylvie Vincent refers to these as 'foundation stories' that explain putting the world in order (1992, 2O).4 The tipachiman are about real people living, or their ancestors - but not necessarily without reference to what western thinking would label the supernatural. For example, the narrative of the first meeting with the white man begins with a Cree man conjuring in a shaking tent in which his mistabeo, his guardian spirit, foretells the arrival of the visitors and reassures the Cree before they encounter the ship and strange men (Scott 1983, 230). Despite its supernatural elements, the tipachiman is more closely aligned with our notions of history than is the atiukan, since the former describes actual events involving human actors, rather than what Richard Preston calls the 'epic stories.'5 A Cree storyteller usually makes it clear which type of story - tipachiman or atiukan - he or she is telling, but Preston does not

54 Toby Morantz

believe a storyteller would see the line between the two as clearly as he does. Stan Cuthand, a Cree linguist from Saskatchewan, would agree. He notes a very strong relationship between Cree myths and Cree society: 'The stories of the mythical beings reinforced socially beneficial behaviour' (Cuthand 1988, 195). In Preston's analysis of both types of Cree narratives, he found five concepts that he suggests convey, to the Crees, notions of their past or history - that is, the foundations of their historical consciousness. Cree narratives convey local knowledge that presents a record of the recent past. They also impart a sense of continuity, of how the Cree people, through their competency, have been able to maintain their way of life. Two other functions of their narratives are to present their cosmology which describes their environment and their place within it - and their moral teachings. Lastly, he sees the notion of evolution or change also embodied in the atiukan stories, though this focus is reserved for explaining how, in terms of the relationship between humans and animals, the world of very long ago changed into what it presently is. One story alone would not suffice to teach all these elements, but a number heard over time would. Some of these features are shared with the Western historical tradition, but not all, as we can see in the differences Preston emphasizes. The reckoning of time is often a concept that distinguishes western history from other histories (Appleby, Hunt, and Jacob 1994, 71-2). The western tradition is represented as having a linear concept of time, and other peoples represented as having a circular or cyclical concept, though Preston suspects that all societies combine elements of both, as even ours recognizes seasonal and life cycles. He has identified in the Cree tipachiman stories this dual reckoning of time, for the telling of the stories is situated as occurring 'long ago' or 'when I was a boy,' but their content is more cyclical, recounting perhaps what people were doing in a certain winter season. However, as must be evident, the Cree stories do not mark the linear progression of time as starkly as in western history. The role of the individual in the narrative also differs in the Cree historical tradition. Preston comments that western values make much of some individuals, but Cree stories 'are not so concerned with prominence as with the action and what happened as a consequence of the action.'6 Another dimension to 'reading' time differently is the categorization of time, so necessary to locating events in time. In a combined history, whose categorization is used? The standard western one has been based on ethnocentric classifications: 'prehistory' and 'history,' or 'precontact'

On Merging European and Native Views of Early Contact


and 'contact.' In the subdiscipline of ethnohistory, focus has been on change from the time of contact. Implicit in these ethnohistories (see Francis and Morantz 1983, as one example) is the notion that change begins with the coming of the Europeans and is framed in terms of the trade in metal tools, often guns. Native peoples can and do view the significant markers differently, emphasizing what is important to them. Thus, in her work with the Innu of the lower north shore of Quebec, Sylvie Vincent discovered that the white man's presence per se is not the important factor in delineating meaningful periods of history. Instead, the Innu divide history into periods where there was 'only game' (no flour) or 'only hides' (no cloth). In fact, they recount stories according to whether something happened 'before flour' or 'after flour,'7 a more meaningful designation than the usual ones of'postcontact' or 'the post1821 merger' or 'post-Confederation,' all meaningless designations in the life of the subarctic hunter. Thus, standard Canadian history and Innu history (and likely others) do not share the same objectives, the same notions of what periods are worth designating. The differences Preston notes between Cree notions of history and the western variety are not, I contend, obstacles to writing a single history of the first encounters between seventeenth-century Cree and Englishmen. The themes may be different, as may the interpretation of the events, but these discrepancies or contradictions can be incorporated in a single history that, as I believe all histories should, reflects the voices of the different actors. Complexities and Conventions in Oral Narratives

What complicates turning Cree oral tradition into a form of narrative that is combinable with Euro-Canadian historical writing is the oral tradition's representation of the past and its narrative conventions. Representation of past states is more difficult to retrieve, I contend, from oral accounts than from recorded ones. In addition, there are stylistic forms in both types of Cree narrative that do not have counterparts in western history and, even if they did, their representations are still culturally embedded and not readily apparent. Writing in 1984,1 assumed that tipachiman stories were the sole equivalents of the western historical tradition and that the atiukan stories could be ignored. This was short-sighted; the writings of Richard Preston, Stan Cuthand, and Sylvie Vincent,8 and of Julie Cruikshank on Yukon peoples (1990, 1991, 1992, 1996), have demonstrated that both

56 Toby Morantz

types of oral tradition constitute the historical consciousness of the Cree and other Native peoples. How, then, are historians to use myth or mythic structures when, although there is often a strong resemblance, mythic narratives recounted today are not identical to the ones told centuries ago? Writes Terence Turner in his study of South American Native mythology: 'history and myth are both primarily to be understood as modes of consciousness of the social present, expressed in terms of the relation of that present to its past (and future)' (Turner igSSb, 279). Thus, in a mythic story one is confronted with the present and the past at the same time, not in chronological sequence. Europeans recorded their narratives, such as that of Abacuk Pricket, and, in doing so, documented the events and explanations of interest at the time. Nevertheless, each new generation of historians reinterprets these narratives in the light of new issues in the present that impose questions on the events of the past. However, these reinterpretations of documents are more constrained than those of oral traditions because more of the original account is preserved. Many factors affect the status of oral narratives as western-style 'evidence.' Although Preston informs us that a good storyteller is careful to tell the story just as he or she heard it,9 these stories are hundreds, even thousands, of years old and must have been modified by storytellers along the way. Even in one community there are several versions, differing factually, of the 'first white man' story.10 Recorded history, on the other hand, generally preserves the rendition of the story that is in the documents. The performance of the stories adds another dimension to Cree oral tradition that does not have its counterpart in written history. Each time the story is told, the elder is drawing from the past to inform the present (see Tonkin 1992, 89). A Cree storyteller might be prompted to choose to tell a specific story to make a point, perhaps about the behaviour of a young person or the events of the day. He or she has a body of stories from which to select the one he or she believes relates to the present situation." In making the point, the story is told in a way that adds, deletes, or embellishes certain elements, altering the emphasis or even the interpretation. The lessons of the past become altered; simultaneously the story that is handed down to be told and retold also becomes changed over time, or takes on new significance. Besides being reinterpreted or changed, stories are dropped if they no longer serve the needs of the society (Tonkin 1992, 11). We know, here in the northeast, that stories have also become forgotten or 'forcibly' abandoned.

On Merging European and Native Views of Early Contact 57

John T. MacPherson collected myths from the Algonquins at Abitibi in 1930. He observed that the missionaries were horrified to find explicit sexual references in many of the myths and thus made Native raconteurs ashamed 'of their ware.'12 Oral tradition is no less valuable because the present may impinge more on the past through such revisions, embellishments, and deledons. Indeed, studies of oral tradition such as Tonkin's argue for this genre's importance not only for gaining representations of the past but for understanding the present and future as well. Most importantly, she demonstrates that the purposes of historical references are multiple as are the expectations of its nature (Tonkin 1992, 121). A second factor in attempting to turn Cree oral texts into historical representations of past Cree life is that anthropologists or historians have not considered how the collection of stories was made. Tipachiman are stories that Cree storytellers tell and retell;13 as 'true stories of real people,' they constitute specialized knowledge about the past. However, this type of story has not been effectively distinguished from those stories simply collected from informants in an interview setting where the anthropologist determines the topics. Life histories based on interviews form the largest part of the collection of Cree oral tradition held by the Canadian Museum of Civilization under its 'urgent ethnology' program of the 1970s. These are personal reminiscences, which Jan Vansina labels as 'oral history' or 'bits of life history,' and should not be considered 'oral tradition,' which has passed from 'mouth to mouth, for a period beyond the lifetime of the informants.' Vansina regards these as messages transmitted beyond the generation that gave rise to them (Vansina 1985, 8, 12-13). I would alter the terminology, using 'oral history' for tipachiman stories and reserving 'oral tradition' for atiukan stories, to emphasize the differences between the two types of narratives. However, I agree with Vansina that personal reminiscences or anecdotal accounts are not the material of a society's history. There is much value in them, and I use them freely, but they do not necessarily represent a community's sense of its history, of what is to be remembered or passed on, of what represents them. The use of an interview format to develop oral accounts can lead to incorporating the biases of the interviewer rather than those of the Crees.14 The transcription of oral accounts from Whapmagoostui (Great Whale River), on deposit at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, provides a striking example of this. An anthropologist, working in 1974, was questioning one of the hunters about the use of alcohol, and in doing

58 Toby Morantz

so she asked the translator to inform the hunter that 'in the West 200 years ago, the fur trader would make the Indians drunk so that they would steal some of the furs.' The hunter rejected this version, but went on to explain that the Reverend Walton (the Anglican priest in the area from 1892 to 1924) had told them that the people in the south got rich from 'the Indians' furs.' Once again he was presented with the visiting anthropologist's version: 'it's not the government that got rich, it was the Hudson [sic] Bay Company.'15 Thus, attention must also be paid to how the narratives were collected, whether the stories were ones the elders wanted to tell or were responses to structured questions formulated by the anthropologist. These two methods of collection result in essentially different sources, of varying interest to historians; they are what Tonkin labels 'popular memory' (an individual's recall) and 'collective memory' (the community's version) (1992, 132). Yet even this distinction is clouded. Interviewer bias in the accounts collected at Whapmagoostui is quite evident, but in Regina Flannery's life history of the Cree woman Ellen Smallboy is seemingly much less so. Flannery's methodological approach was to approach her subject by 'introducing a topic and letting her proceed with as few interruptions as possible' (Flannery 1995, 7). Ellen Smallboy told the stories she deemed important, but the general subject matter was still generated to satisfy academic interests. Similarly, in a life history that Sarah Preston wrote down for Alice Jacob, a Cree woman from Waskaganish, Preston remarked that she drew counsel from the observation of Paul Radin (S. Preston 1986, 14) that 'the ideal collectors of [ethnological] data are the natives themselves and that the more the [ethnologist] keeps in the background, the more accurate and authentic will the archives of aboriginal culture ultimately become' (Radin 1933, 70-1). Translation from the indigenous language to English significantly lessens the accuracy and authenticity of the original account. Cruikshank (1991, 19) demonstrates how the structure of language introduces notions in one tongue that cannot be easily expressed in another; in my experience the absence of trained translators for much of the work done on oral tradition in James Bay has made problematic the English versions of Cree oral tradition. Yet another problem is that historians and anthropologists, in their respective fields, class some pieces of information as 'better' than others (Tonkin 1992, 54). Accordingly, one has to weigh the use of a popular western historical genre, such as autobiography, which, in the interests of representation, gives prominence to the story of one individual in

On Merging European and Native Views of Early Contact


Cree society rather than the collectivity. Autobiography, which privileges the story of one individual, can be highly self-indulgent; this is anathema in a society that values collective action. Sylvie Vincent, however, suggests that one should not rely on a single person's autobiography as historical material, but rather should use several recorded autobiographies. Personal accounts are told, she suggests, principally from the perspective of the social group rather than the perspective of the narrator. Most of all, she sees value in autobiographies as furnishing a Native perspective, not only on the occasion, but also as a lesson in what memories are recalled, in what is important to the community (Vincent, personal communication, May 1997). Here she differs from Vansina, who holds that important historical information is determined only after it is transmitted beyond the generation that gave rise to the stories (Vansina 1985, 28), and with Sarah Preston, who downplays the importance of the individual in Cree narratives (S. Preston 1986, 6). There is also the consideration of the time depth in Cree oral histories. Tipachiman stories, as 'eyewitness' stories, cannot refer to a period more than several generations old, for the Cree expect 'maximum precision in narration' (R. Preston 1975, 290) .l6 Thus, in the oral histories of the Cree Way Project there are the relatively recent stories dating back to the later iSoos and into the 19305, of the starvation period, sightings of the disappearing caribou, work for the Hudson's Bay Company, missionaries, raids on the Inuit, construction of birch bark canoes, rivalry between the coasters and inlanders, to name but a few.17 But the English fur traders arrived in James Bay several hundred years earlier, in 1668. From where do we derive our interpretations of what this early contact meant to the Cree, psychologically and sociologically? What social adaptations or restructuring, if any, were necessitated by their engagement in the European fur trade, and how did they perceive them? If we turn to the Hudson's Bay Company archival records for answers to these questions, we find that they record only the Europeans' observations, made to satisfy the economic interests of the company bosses back in England. In the introduction to this essay, I quoted a Cree tipachiman1* account of the first meeting with the white man. Surely this is an old Cree story that does confront these issues. It is the oldest story with a tipachiman structure, more like an 'eyewitness account,' and quite similar to the English version in the construction of the narrative. Yet, as we shall see, other stories of a slightly later period, such as the Cree conflicts with the Iroquois in the mid-seventeenth century, incorporate more metaphoric conventions and have few similarities to the published accounts. Is it

6o Toby Morantz

possible this first contact story did not originate with the Cree but was told to them by a white man? Such is Pierre Trudel's attribution of a very similar story relating the first Cree-English contact, one told to him at Whapmagoostui, which is on the eastern coast of Hudson Bay, north of Wemindji, where the first contact occurred. John Kawapit, the Cree elder who narrated this story, told Trudel he had heard it from Harold Udgarden, a 'mixed blood' who worked at Whapmagoostui as a clerk for about fifty years, beginning in the late iSoos (P. Trudel 1992, 68). An initial comparison of the Georgekish and Pricket accounts of the 'first meeting' provides highly important, culturally embedded understandings of process that inform us, not only about the contrasting views of the Cree and the English, but also about the value in demonstrating both these perspectives in any historical account. Yet we would be deceived if we thought that the tipachiman story informs us of anything but early-twentieth-century Cree representations of the encounter. In most cases of first or early contact, the Native side of the story has been lost to history because their understanding of the events was never recorded. This is a loss we must accept in probably all encounters, because preserving the Native response was not a seventeenth-century European concern. In 1668 and 1670 Captain Zachariah Gillam, captain of the trading ship the Nonsuch, responded to a questionnaire from the newly formed Royal Society of London, which had been distributed to all 'seamen bound for far voyages.' His testimony was read to Royal Society members on 19 May 1670 (Birch 1756-7, 2: 436, cited in Morantz 1992, 172). The account is important because it provides details about Cree religion, government, subsistence, trade, and numbers (Morantz 1992, 188-93). However, of the twenty-two questions to which Gillam was responding, nineteen were about the land and the voyage; only three gave him scope to comment on the local inhabitants. Not one of these three questions inquired about the views of the Natives they encountered or about the English reactions to them. By contrast, what interests us today are not the events themselves, but the way 'Natives' think, feel, and perceive, to paraphrase Clifford Geertz (1983, 56). If, by some stroke of luck, Gillam had thought to reflect on what his voyages meant to the Cree he met at Charles Fort (Rupert House or Waskaganish), these views still would not be entirely acceptable today, having been filtered through late-seventeenth-century European thinking. The conventions used in Cree narrative also pose special problems in consolidating the two kinds of history. As was mentioned earlier, the story of the first meeting with the white man contains reference to the

On Merging European and Native Views of Early Contact


conjuring that predicted his arrival. Perhaps this is a convention that offers reassurance to the Cree listener or indicates that this was preordained knowledge, that the Cree were in control of the events that were to transpire in their country. It is not, however, a convention that is used today in western history. Other conventions, in the form of metaphors, also have symbolic significance for Cree who have been raised on these stories from childhood and in their own language. The repetition of these metaphors and the way they are used provide multiple messages for the Cree listener. One example is the collection of six Cree narratives on the theme of the 'Nottoways.' These are the stories that recount another event in James Bay, the Iroquois raids, presumably in the mid-i6oos. Although the Jesuits were not eyewitnesses to these attacks, they did hear about them and recorded details of the year, place, and numbers killed or taken captive by the Iroquois (Jesuit Relations [1610-1791] 1896-1901 [hereafter//?] 47: 150-3). In the Nottoway stories,19 the Cree are the victors; the Iroquois are vanquished not through fighting but through the medium of either an old man or an old woman who, taken captive by the Iroquois to serve as a guide, outsmarts them by leading them over cliffs or into rapids. Similar narratives recounting the supremacy of the elderly man or woman have been recorded for other Algonquian-speaking peoples, such as the Penobscots (N. Smith 1983) and Pasmaquoddy (Erikson 1983) on the Atlantic coast. In Julie Cruikshank's major work on Dene oral history, she refers to these constructions as 'recognizable formulaic narratives' (Cruikshank 1990, 339), remarking on their persistence over time, despite considerable changes in every aspect of the lives of the storytellers. These formulaic narratives are allegorical in nature, depicting cultural ideals in social interaction or confronting difficult issues. Furthermore, she comments that use of such customary cognitive models helps make unfamiliar events seem comprehensible; the conjuring in the 'first white man' story is likely a good example of this. She suggests, needless to say, that the formulae or cognitive models, ideological and symbolic, must be understood in the context of the distinct cultural understandings and social relationships in place at the time (343-5). Cruikshank, as other writers, draws our attention to these historical narratives as focusing the listener more on process than event (Cruikshank 1991, 19,135; 1992, 35). To this end, Vincent (personal communication, May 1997) suggests that the Nottoway stories are not intended to focus on the event so much as on the behaviour one should display towards the enemy. Similarly, both authors

62 Toby Morantz

find the different versions informative for the different cultural values they reveal. Thus, the 'first white man' story is told differently among the Algonquins living south of the James Bay area in the Abitibi region of Quebec. John T. MacPherson recorded a story that began in a similar way but then tells how the white sailors thought they would have some fun with the lone Native who greeted them. They gave him some firewater and left him in a drunken stupor. As his companions were about to bury him, he came to, much to everyone's surprise. Following this episode, the Natives thought the white men were gods 'because they had a juice that would cause one to die and come to life again.'20This version offers its listeners a different lesson than the Nottoway stories and is a good example of the focus on process rather than event, on the relationships rather than the objects. But how, then, does one bridge the gap between process and event in a combined history? Precedents in Writing Blended Histories

We have much more to learn about Native societies, now that oral tradition has been drawn in as a valued source. However, my objective here is not to champion the cause of oral tradition, for Julie Cruikshank has ably done that in her studies of oral tradition in Athapaskan and Tlinglit-speaking societies (Cruikshank 1990, 1996). Rather, I have tried to examine the possibility of a history that serves, in one text, the various functions each society, Native and non-Native, expects from its own history. In the process, I looked for histories written by non-Native academics that bring together archival and oral records. Two of the most innovative are by the anthropologists Richard Price on the Saramaka of Surinam (1983), and Joanne Rappaport on the Cumbe of Colombia (1994). Each work provides striking insights into a period in a people's history and how that history is transformed and viewed. In Price's study of the Saramaka he alternates oral texts, as given him, with the documentary history he unearthed in the archives and with his commentary, often on the same page. The texts and commentary provide very rich insights into Saramaka thinking, which is framed by the details found in the archival records. Rappaport's history is similar, although in this study the Cumbe people themselves have consulted the documents and absorbed some of their contents into the oral history. It, too, provides fascinating insights into the interpretations the Cumbe give to specific historic conditions as well as how they 'resisted, capitulated, and accommodated to the state' (Rappaport 1994, 8).

On Merging European and Native Views of Early Contact


Yet as fascinating and informative as these blended histories are, what they have achieved is very limited. The writers have managed to weave what seem like well-blended histories, but have done so within very narrow parameters. Both are histories of specific events. Both pit the Saramaka or Cumbe peoples against the larger (colonial) society. The Saramaka were runaway slaves whose history speaks to their formative years and is referred to as 'First-Time' (Price 1983, 5-7). A similar historical consciousness is expressed in the Cumbe history, for it recounts the loss of their aboriginal lands and preserves the dream of recovering it (Rappaport 1994, 2-4). Both accounts are of specific events and directed to establishing each group's identity. For reasons of identity and to assert claims to the land, these historical narratives are told and retold. So vivid and pronounced are they in the people's historical consciousness that they become accessible to ethnohistorians and pliant to blending with the documentary record, contributing to a history that is recognizable within the parameters of western history. Yet, they remain limited histories, because they address themselves only to specific issues. One could achieve such a limited, combined history in the case of the Cree. In fact, such history is probably sitting in the extensive records of the court battle of the mid-1970s when the Cree engaged with the government of Quebec over the building of the James Bay hydroelectric dam on the La Grande River. At that time, the Cree gave testimony that was directed to proving their age-old ownership of the land, and although they used metaphors such as 'Job's Garden'21 to represent that they too harvested their lands, these were metaphors that were understood by non-Cree society. Nonetheless, there is far more to Cree history than their recent fight over their territory. It is this history, one that reflects their own ideals and aspirations, that should be told, a history important to them without necessarily being oriented to the conflicts and issues over land or identity imposed on them by the larger Canadian society. One would like to do greater justice to the broader themes in Cree history, to produce the grand narrative merited by their long and complex history. In Canada there is rich archival documentation and an even more extensive and richer oral tradition. How do we combine them without losing or distorting the Cree's particular view of their past? The Distinctiveness of Oral Tradition In this exploration of Cree oral tradition, the characteristics that make it distinctive, as a historical tradition, have been made quite explicit. There

64 Toby Morantz

are cognitive models embedded in the oral tradition that do not have their counterparts in mainstream history; these cognitive models themselves reveal to the listener understandings that are not easily decoded by the non-Native. As well, beasts and spirits and man-animals float in and out of the narratives. These structures and beings are intrinsic to the telling of the story. If they are dislodged from their context or ignored, the story cannot impart the same meaning. This was evident almost thirty years ago to the anthropologist Catharine McClellan, who, Cruikshank tells us, argued convincingly 'that such narratives cannot be pulled out of context and have to be understood in relation to the total bodies of oral literature in which they appear' (McClellan 1970 in Cruikshank 1996, 443). This position is endorsed today by Cruikshank (and see Cohen !989), who warns that, however well intentioned, the 'uncritical use of oral traditions developed in one cultural context as though they can be equated with tangible historical evidence may lead to misinterpretation of more complex messages in narrative' (Cruikshank 1990, 346). Sylvie Vincent, whose research on Innu oral tradition also goes back almost three decades and who has recently been writing texts on Native history, has similarly concluded in a paper presented at a 1996 conference precisely addressed to this issue that it is impossible to harmonize the two traditions of history.*2 She argues that the obstacles are not the contradictory, irreconcilable interpretations, for those could be presented in the same text, but rather the differing conceptual and methodological frameworks. In the Innu stories she studies, both time and story (process rather than event) are fluid and based in analogy, compared to the precision and factuality of western history. How does one draw into a combined history the Native people's relations with nonhuman inhabitants so fundamental to their understanding of their past? Similar epistemological concerns are expressed by Homi Bhabha, who writes that 'cultural translation is not simply appropriation or adaptation; it is a process through which cultures are required to revise their own systems of reference, norms and values, by departing from their habitual or "inbred" rules of transformation' (Bhabha 1997, 14). Conclusions

Having devoted a significant effort to writing a multicultural history in tune with both Innu/Cree and Euro-Canadian perceptions of history, Vincent and I have independently resolved that it is impossible. What is possible are histories, such as Price's or Rappaport's, that revolve

On Merging European and Native Views of Early Contact 65 around a single issue that has cast the local people into a confrontation with the larger society and thus produces histories more amenable to types of narrative that confirm the conventions of western discourse. To write a history that tries to find a correspondence between the full body of oral tradition and the archival records would only destroy what is left of the Cree notions of their past. It would be the last act of the almost completed assimilation process, a dismanding of the last bastion of a unique Cree outlook. It needs no belabouring of the point to argue that such a history, written by western-trained academics for an essentially western-trained readership, would distort and destroy the depiction of the relationships, the symbolism, the patterning, and the integrity of the Cree oral tradition. As for the interpretation of the oral tradition's coded messages - revealed as they are through the performance of a number of stories - the western historian's method of producing representation through selecting a few examples would undermine the interpretation and additionally lose for the Cree much of their oral tradition. There is a political dimension to the use of oral tradition. Writing in the University of British Columbia Law Review, Cynthia Callison argues for restitution for and the protection of the oral tradition of Native peoples through copyright. Her desire is to protect the oral tradition and prevent its appropriation, for she sees cultural appropriation as the exercising of the power to dominate possessed by the larger society. Such an act threatens the distinct identity of aboriginal peoples and, along with it, their integrity and dignity (Callison 1995, 170, 165). This is not a call for Canadian history to abandon the views and lessons learned from analysing the oral tradition. Far from it. Rather, it is a call to recognize that Canadian historians' use of oral tradition, though important, is limited. Oral tradition can be put to use, invaluably so, but this use is inevitably a form of 'plunder,' taking from the oral tradition what is needed to fit the Euro-Canadian view that history is structured, chronological, and progressive. Although Tonkin cautions that professional historians who use the recollections of others 'cannot just scan them for useful facts to pick out, like currants from a cake' (Tonkin 1992, 6), I am not sure historians can do anything else. Historians have to abandon all notions of writing a truly multicultural history that includes Indian or Native history, and be content to ransack the oral tradition for what suits their conceptual needs. Those of us writing ethnohistories can have only the currants, not the cake. The different interpretations of the exchange of trade items in the first meeting of the Cree and English may not faithfully reflect the seventeenth-century

66 Toby Morantz

Cree view, but their version's demonstration of the white man's exuberant materialism may well suit our time's postmodern views that history functions as 'cultural myth' (Appleby, Hunt, and Jacob 1994, 216).^

NOTES 1 A French translation of the various versions of this story appears in Scott (1992, 50). Frank Sun also collected several such stories at Wemindji in 1979; see Appendix A: 'Stories' in Report of Wemindji Cree Views of Religion. On deposit in Ottawa at the National Ethnology Service, National Museum of Man. 2 Cree Way was a project initiated in the mid-1970s by the principal of the Waskaganish School, John Murdoch, and aided primarily by Mrs Annie Whiskeychan. Some of the narratives they collected and used in school texts were originally recorded by Richard J. Preston. 3 These terms are in the Waskaganish (Rupert House) dialect. See Richard J. Preston, 'Notions of History Implicit in East Cree Narratives of the Past,' unpublished report prepared for the Cree Regional Authority and la Societe de 1'energie de la Baie James (1986), 3. Other Native peoples such as the Dene (McClellan 1975, 67) and the Innu (Vincent 1981, 11) also make similar distinctions in telling their stories. 4 Sylvie Vincent emphasizes that both types of oral tradition are true stories, the difference being that the tipachiman stories relate events that have been seen or heard about (Vincent, personal communication, May 1997). 5 Preston, 'Notions of History,' 4. 6 Ibid., 8, 9. 7 Sylvie Vincent, 'Histoire du Quebec: Fragments de la version "Montagnaise,"' report presented to the Ethnology Service (Ottawa: National Museum of Man, 1976), 67. 8 Sylvie Vincent, 'Compatibilite apparente, incompatibility reelle des versions autochtones et des versions occidentales de 1'histoire. L'exemple innu,' unpublished paper presented to the conference 'Les obstacles ontologiques dans les relations interculturelles,' Universite Laval, 7-10 October 1996, 10-11. 9 Preston, 'Notions of History,' 3. 10 See Sun, Appendix A: 'Stories.' See also Scott 1983. 11 Vincent, 'Compatibilite apparente,' 11. 12 John T. MacPherson, 'An Ethnological Study of the Abitibi Indians' (report

On Merging European and Native Views of Early Contact 67 prepared for the Division of Anthropology, National Museums of Canada, 1930), 103. 13 Preston, 'Notions of History,' 3. 14 For a more complete discussion of the problems inherent in recording narratives, see Julie Cruikshank (1990) and Regina Flannery (1995). 15 Ottawa, Museum of Civilization, Great Whale River Collection 1974, Tape III-D-20-T, Side B. 16 Again, Sylvie Vincent finds this contradicted by her research on Innu oral history, commenting that tipachiman stories need not only be those of a relatively recent period. 17 One of the oldest of these stories is of the 1832 Hannah Bay 'massacre,' when four Cree men, all related, attacked this small outpost, killing the postmaster, his Cree wife, and seven other Cree people (see Francis and Morantz 1983, 158). That this relatively old tipachiman story is still extant is not surprising: it was a terrifying occurrence and continues to be told in the region in details that are very consistent with the Hudson's Bay Company's record of 1832 (Morantz 1984, 181-2). 18 So designated by Colin Scott (1992, 50) in his rendition. 19 The Nottoway stories in the collection of Cree Way are not identified as either atiukan or tipachiman stories, but Vincent, commenting on similar stories among the Innu, refers to them as tipachiman stories (personal communication, May 1997). 20 MacPherson, 'Ethnological Study of the Abitibi,' 156-7. 21 Job's Garden is the title of a film produced by Boyce Richardson in 1975 to demonstrate what the land meant to the Cree. He may have derived the title from Job's wife, Mary, who told him, 'We love our garden. We love the animals in it and everything that grows in it' (Richardson 1975, 146). 22 Vincent, 'Compatibilite apparente.' 23 Only after this paper had gone to press, did I discover the article by Marianne Ignace, 'Haida Public Discourse,' in which she similarly raises the problem of translating Haida rhetorical devices to western conventions. See Ignace 1991.

Memoria as the Place of Fabrication of the New World* Gilles Therien

Much has been written about the meeting of the European and the New World. The leading ideologies, the power struggles, the seizures, have all been duly noted. The communication problems, the confusions often unavoidable - between protagonists, have been stressed. Many studies rely on the new history, on the study of documents according to modern criteria of textual analysis. It seems to me that, in most cases, if one understands only the confrontation of the two worlds, one limits oneself in a rather distressing way to a binary opposition of mentalities. The notion of mentality, moreover, is not in itself without confusion. My own work is not that of an historian. I strive to understand the interaction of sign systems, to understand their singularity and their complexity. From this perspective, I will attempt to weave two series of arguments. The first proposes the existence of a concrete memoria widely different from the one traditional rhetoric has passed on to us; the second examines the function and dysfunction of this memoria in the specific framework of the fabrication of the New World. Traditional memoria was generally defined by the rhetoricians of the Renaissance as an art of memory, a way of ordering the world, and we can easily recognize its effect in the systems of knowledge characteristic of that period. Above all, it is a creation of the reasoning faculty. My memoria - concrete memoria - is the scene, both individual and social, where we discover, thanks to the imagination, our way of understanding the world. The two forms of memoria contrast with each other, just as do reason and imagination or rational order and the actuality of experience. I have chosen the year 1534 as a starting point because it metaphori*Translated by Dominique O'Neill.

Memoria as the Place of Fabrication of the New World


cally reproduces the various facets of my thinking. This date, which is not chosen accidentally, allows me to introduce three events that, while they have no causal links and happened quite apart from each other, converge in some fashion within my view of the way the discovery and the settlement of the New World that was New France took place. The year of Carder's first voyage, 1534 also marks what historian Marcel Trudel so rightly calls 'the vain attempts' at colonization (Trudel 1963-83), which will be transformed, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, into a determined colonization under difficult material conditions, as well as a rigorous evangelization with numerous failures. That moment is the point of convergence of my argument and it is Carder's voyage that is the first of my three events. A variety of activities characterized the long reign of Francois I, notably his nearly incessant wars against Charles v, the first reactions to the Reformadon that appeared in France and culminated - again in 1534 with the affaire des Placards, and his long-standing interest in the kingdoms of Italy and in the recognition of Rome's supremacy. The year 1534 gave him the opportunity - despite his parsimony - to make a regal gesture, in hope of discovering a French New World capable of producing results comparable to those obtained by Spain and Portugal from their American colonization. In that year, the king gave Jacques Carder a commission that allowed him to sail along the Canadian coast during his first journey, to travel up the St Lawrence River to the Iroquois village of Hochelaga during his second, and to attempt to establish a settlement, which proved short-lived, during his third. But Francois I was not interested merely in material gain. He was patron of a flourishing humanism and was equally interested in the life of the mind. In 1530, a famous Italian, well known to Erasmus and the intelligentsia of his day, came to the court of France to do business with the king. Born in 1480, Giulio Camillo had dedicated his life and energy to the building of a Memory Theatre in Venice. He succeeded in capturing the interest of Francois, who granted him 500 ducats on the spot and promised him a much more substantial reward if he built a replica of his theatre in France. In 1534, Camillo was in Paris, devoting his energy to the construction of his famous Memory Theatre - which he never finished and whose secret he would never totally reveal. He died in 1544, leaving only a brief sketch of the plan for his theatre, which Frances Yates used to reconstruct a plausible version in The Art of Memory (Yates 1966, 129-59)This second event, Francis's support for Camillo's theatre, highlights


Gilles Therien

one of the passions of the Renaissance: rhetoric, which humanists had rediscovered in the writings of the Ancients and whose mysteries they were attempting to grasp. This leads me, in a roundabout way, to build upon my argument by pointing out the effects of rhetoric in the missionary and colonial undertaking that New France constitutes. Francois i financed the construction of a European material memoria while, at the same time, he planned to impose his own memoria on a totally unknown world. The third event took place on 15 August 1534, in Montmartre. A group of enlightened intellectuals made three vows: to embrace chastity and poverty and to undertake a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Their leader was Ignatius Loyola. Others present, Pierre Favre, Francois Xavier, Diego Laynez, Nicolas Bobadilla, Simon Rodriguez, and Alfonso Salmeron, had recently undergone an intense intellectual experience at the University of Paris, and, thanks to Loyola's famous Spiritual Exercises, were about to form one of the most powerful and fearsome religious orders, the Society of Jesus (Lacouture 1991). Trained by and in the Renaissance, they represented modernity in their time. One of the main characteristics of their ministry was the teaching of rhetoric as revised by the Renaissance and corrected by the Counter-Reformation, with which the Jesuits are identified (see, among others, Dainville 1978). Thus, 1534 is useful to anchor a reflection that seeks, first of all, a new way of looking at rhetoric, and particularly at the part called memoria. Earlier studies seem to have misunderstood memoria in its concrete economy and in the way it facilitates all action directed towards the outside, towards the other. In the Jesuit framework, it will play an important role upon which we want to reflect. The first Jesuits arrived in New France in 1611. They were associated with the difficult attempts to set up a colony in Acadia. Later, in 1625, a second group came to help the Recollets in the St Lawrence valley. They left when Quebec was taken by the British in 1629 and came back in 1632 when it was returned. For about the next twenty-five years, they would be the only missionaries in New France. The Jesuit evangelization, the preservation of religion, would occur in total freedom and according to their own spiritual principles. What I want to show is that this takeover of evangelization by the Jesuits is linked to rhetoric, a rhetoric one must see not simply as an obsolete technique of eloquence but rather as a true art of thinking and acting founded on a spiritual memoria. The first part of this essay will concentrate on describing rhetorical objectives different from those to which we are accustomed, and the second part will find in the writings of New

Memoria as the Place of Fabrication of the New World


France, and in particular in the Jesuits' Relations, examples to illustrate the hypothesis. Natural Rhetoric

Rhetoric underwent an important development through the impetus of the Jesuits in their colleges and, we may say, the whole of their activities, including their missions. It appears as the favourite medium of St Ignatius Loyola's Spiritual Exercises. Be they teachers or missionaries, Jesuits are first of all preachers, propagating a doctrine, a method. Jesuit rhetoric is the tool of conversion. Its goal is to shape the memoria of those to whom it speaks and to incite them to imitate thoughts and deeds. We find this rhetoric in Jesuit school treatises, treatises on the passions, and also in the behavioural arts such as the art of the courtier. Its objective is always defined as the greater glory of God. Jesuit rhetoric moves considerably away from the tradition of Antiquity. For the Sophists, a rhetorician's greatest talent was the ability to demonstrate the truth of any proposition from any argument. By contrast, for Plato in the Phaedrus, true rhetoric and its natural use exist as a guarantor of the truth. Moreover, according to Plato, truth can take shape only through reminiscence - that is, by means of a memory that is not mere 'recollection,' but true knowledge in its most perfect sense. Here, one could draw many parallels with the Jesuits' view that truth was that which is one, and revealed. On these questions, Aristotle retained a good part of the Platonic tradition. Rhetoric is analogous to dialectic. It is used whenever we need it - that is to say, when we seek to persuade - because it can use arguments in a persuasive mode, a verisimilar mode. Rhetoric allows one to formulate hypotheses and to verify them. Techniques particular to rhetoric are linked not to rhetoric itself - as it is not itself a genre - but to the context in which it is used. Thus, Aristotle distinguishes types of applications: the deliberative, the forensic, and the epideictic. He notes that too much emphasis has been put on the forensic, perhaps because of the socio-political stakes represented by this type of oratory. As for memory, Aristotle views the natural memory as made up of images, remembrances, perceptions, and a medley of sensations, as well as visions created from within. According to Aristotle's teaching, memory is essential to thought because image is as well. Thus, for him, the art of memory in its strictest sense can involve only natural memory. When he speaks of mnemotechnic, he then has to account for another type of

72 Gilles Therien memory; one called artificial memory, built on a set of rules. It does not replace natural memory; it is merely a means of completing it. In the writings of authors such as Cicero, Quintilian, and the anonymous creator of the Rhetorica ad Herennium, the notion of natural memory seems to have completely disappeared in favour of artificial memory, and the focus is on the mnemonic arts that foster the development of this artificial memory. In this framework, the forensic is privileged, and so is eloquence, in as much as eloquence is the art of addressing a public to convince it of an argument. When the Renaissance rediscovered ancient authors, humanists were confronted by two types of memories, but - in the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition represented by Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, as well as in the Platonic-Augustinian stream represented, among others, by such authors as Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola - natural memory remained the foundation on which the art of artificial memory could be built. Several authors, in the Renaissance and today, have had the unfortunate tendency to forget natural memory and its foundational role. They have been interested only in the arts of memory - the mnemotechnics - as if these represented the totality of memorial activity. But the rhetoric we find in the Jesuits' Ratio Studiorum is concerned with technique, with the rhetoric of figures, only in so far as it is useful in supporting the central vision they had of the world that they sought to reform or convert (Ratio Studiorum 1997). Traditionally, the rhetoric of antiquity was divided in five successive parts: inventio, elocutio, dispositio, memoria, and actio. The first three parts have been generally understood as pertaining to discourse and its fabrication, memory allowing one to remember an oration so as to be able to recite it by heart, and action being the eloquent gestures accompanying this recital. Interest in the mnemotechnic arts gradually waned and, with it, interest in memory and gesture. Thus, we have arrived today at a 'limited' rhetoric (Barthes 1970; Genette 1972), a rhetoric that includes only the three parts pertaining to speech and comes into question only when rhetoric is perceived in terms of arguments or figures. This is admittedly a rather brief summary of the neglect into which rhetoric has fallen, but limited space precludes tracing the evolution of a rhetoric that eventually will be used largely as a technique whose functioning can be understood only from one or two tropes or one or two arguments.1 I will limit myself to describing the broad outline of another way of understanding rhetoric. This latter is not merely an art of oratory, a practice of eloquence. It is a way of expressing what comes from within.

Memoria as the Place of Fabrication of the New World


Seen from this perspective, it is memoria that is the foundation of all expression, since memoria is the faculty that contains images and permits thinking, what Robert Fludd called the 'custos mundi sensibilis,' the custodian of the sensible world (Fludd 1619, 217). Everything might remain imprisoned by the sensible world if the imagination did not come and solicit images to give them life. This seeking of images is the role of inventio. To understand what is at stake in rhetoric, one must see memoria and inventio as working together, with memoria being fertilized by inventio and by the imagination. Memoria, however, has two meanings. It is both the individual, personal memory, which is unique, and also, in each of us, a collective memory, one shaped in a social context. Since the birth of psychoanalysis, one could very well conceive of this memoria as being the topos of the unconscious par excellence. This shaping is entirely from within, and is necessarily accompanied by images - mental images, of course - that can be better understood as tropes if one accepts that a trope is the discursive opposite of the imaged. Elocutio and dispositio then come into play in order to continue the mise en place of the rhetorical action. The aim is to outline premises and the arguments pertaining to them. In short, this step invents a mise en scene for what was produced by the imagination's work on memoria. This second stage of activity consists in laying out the topoi, the image's space and dimensions. Thus, we now see the insistence, in the mnemotechnic arts, on laying out topoi that are well known to the subject and guarantee a certain proportion between the subject matter he or she wishes to address and the framework in which it will be addressed. Elocution and disposition are the equivalent of the mis en recit, of the narration of a mythos asking to be expressed. If we agree that, on this level, rhetoric is as valuable for speech as for writing, something with which we normally agree, we need to understand the way in which this forces us to rethink the very nature of rhetoric. This way of understanding rhetoric does not arrange its components in some kind of a causal and monosemous sequence but in a continual interaction of the diverse components, allowing us to understand the two consequences drawn from classical rhetoric in the Renaissance. First, an interest arose in what I would be tempted to call mechanical rhetoric, which explains why the mnemonic arts became so important. Then, particular insistence was put on training prior to any rhetorical exercise of memoria. Thus I find, on the one side, Giulio Camillo's Memory Theatre and his encyclopedic undertaking, and, on the other, the spiritual exercises of Ignatius Loyola, which are faithful structural mod-

74 Gilles Therien

els of the constitution of memoria, as much in individuals as in groups. They are also, in the way they lay out the various narratives and their premises, a mnemotechnic art. We should not be at all surprised to find, among the early Jesuits, such great specialists of the art of memory as Matteo Ricci or Athanasius Kircher, whose memory palaces are even more ambitious than Camillo's. We should note that Ricci used his mnemotechnic abilities in his missionary activities with the Chinese Mandarins, while Kircher assembled his encyclopedia within the framework of European Jesuit college practices, thereby illustrating the superior role played by rhetoric. Now we can better understand the convergence of the three events that occurred in 1534. Cartier discovered a land to colonize and explore. This new knowledge tended to form around the natural memory, the actual experience lived by Cartier and the arts of memory that would be recorded in the narratives, the maps, and the illustrations. But the rhetoric that the Jesuits brought back into favour, for themselves but also for others, was a rhetoric transformed in the daily exercise of their mission, a rhetoric that offered a trustworthy and homogeneous memory that would inspire all those confronted with New France. It was the Ratio Studiorum and its conception of memoria that would become central to teaching, first in New France then in Quebec. This trustworthy memoria had a precise premise - that of Roman Catholic monotheism as defended by the Jesuits. It is this memoria they intended to diffuse, to share with others. It is from the point of view of this rhetoric that it is necessary to examine the meeting of Europeans and Amerindians. I do not intend to speak of the Jesuits' Relations as works of propaganda, or to search them for particular rhetorical procedures. This seems pertinent only to the examination of actio- that is, to the modality of expression - and would not sufficiently meet the requirements of the other components of rhetoric, in particular the desire to transmit or to build a memoria that would be guarantor of the spiritual and intellectual life of all those who will belong to it. Loyola's Spiritual Exercises offers a technique of image transformation (Fabre 1992). It traces a four-week journey, starting with the penitent's own recognition of his state of sin and leading him to a choice in favour of God, and then, quite naturally, providing him with an inner book of images of Christ's life that allows him to model his activities on the examples that have been the object of a contemplation and of an election, in the sense of 'choice.' Loyola knew that his model was not a mere formula to be learned once and for all. It was not necessary for some

Memoria as the Place of Fabrication of the New World


Christians to go beyond a simple conversion: to know that they were won over to the side of virtue was sufficient; they should not be asked to give what they could not. The same problem would occur in the missions. When working with people who were hearing of Christ for the first time, the goal was not to put the Spiritual Exercises into practice, but rather to transmit the essence of its message and the minimal commitment that a Christian must make. The Jesuits had been witnesses of the diversity of the particulars of such a meeting since Francis Xavier recorded his observations from Goa, Japan, or China. Ignatius Loyola became very conscious of the limits that must be set in missionary work, and demanded that those who worked in missionary countries define the nature of their interlocutors with great care. Missionaries to China quickly found much to think about, particularly in the matter of the cult of the ancestors whose importance in the Chinese memoria they realized, at the risk of causing the mission to fail and of provoking the famous quarrel over rites. Thus, it is not surprising that Loyola should ask those who went on a mission for clarification about the people they met and whether they could really be converted. This Ignatian tradition would become a Jesuit directive. In 1611, Father Pierre Biard wrote of his stay in Acadia that one must catechize the savages thoroughly before baptizing them, an allusion to the baptisms of Father Jesse Fleche that apparently had had no influence whatsoever on the 'nature' of the said savages (Jesuit Relations [1610-1791] 1896-1901 [hereafter JR] 2: 134 ff.). The mastery of rhetoric, of the art of preaching taken in its broadest sense, was made possible only because the memoria about which everyone had to agree was constituted in and by Loyola's Exercises.'2 This memoria was subject to the reactions of minds, which forced the Jesuits' founder to define rules to recognize these minds and to evaluate their importance. The missionary Jesuit received the same powers through his own experience of the Spiritual Exercises. He was in possession of a memoria that he must transmit in order to convert, but he was also confronted by a memoria different from his own - that of his interlocutors - one totally unknown to him and one that he might even scorn by reporting it as a demonstration of primitivism. The entire question, then, centred on how far one must go or not go in acknowledging the memoria of the Other. The European Memoria Meets the Memoria of the Other

The examples chosen here include Jacques Cartier, Samuel de Champlain, and the Jesuits. Memoria is not the privilege of the clergy, and it

76 Gilles Therien

seems useful to see how two other important personages in the history of New France expressed their own memoria. Their observations were not entirely the same as those of the Jesuits, but they maintained some features whose importance shows both the extent of flexibility or rigidity in memoria and their own capacity to welcome or to modify themselves in meeting the Other. Memoria was used to fabricate New France, and the first obstacles on its path were, of course, the Natives. The first example, Jacques Carder's visit to Hochelaga, is interesting for several reasons, one of which is that it remains silent about what really happened and even where it happened. Carder arrived at Hochelaga on 2 October 1535 and was joyfully welcomed by a crowd of more than one thousand persons. After Carder exchanged a few gifts for some food, he and his men retired to their long-boats for the night. The next day, he marshalled some of his men in what looked like a military column while the others watched the boats. All were armed. With the help of some of the inhabitants of Hochelaga, he first went to an unknown place where a Native, described by Carder as the seigneur of Hochelaga, harangued him. More gifts were exchanged, and Carder was then taken to the gates of a circular village 'enclosed by a wooden palisade in three tiers like a pyramid' (Carder 1993,61). It was a fortified town, which one could enter only by a single gate. Having entered, Carder found a central square where the rest of the speeches took place. He counted some fifty longhouses, whose interior he described, as well as some of the features of his hosts' way of living.3 The French were made to sit down and a personage Carder understood to be the ruler ('rof) and leader ('seigneur'} of Hochelaga was brought out. Indeed, he wore a small fur crown. He showed his paralysed arms and legs, and Carder set about to rub his limbs. All the sick of the place were then brought out, after which Carder read from the Gospel of St John and the Passion of our Lord, and again distributed gifts among his hosts. Then, Carder ordered trumpets and other musical instruments to be sounded, after which he took leave of them and went to visit the adjacent mountain. The scene described was illustrated by Giovanni Batdsta Ramusio in his Italian publicadon of the voyages of Carder (Ramusio [1556] 1565). It shows a schematic representation of Hochelaga and, at the bottom of the picture, two men shaking hands courteously. The one on the left is Carder accompanied by his men; the other is the ruler of Hochelaga with his (see figure i above, p 11). The narrator of the second voyage, Carder or someone else, took it upon himself to describe this event from the point of view of a European memoria. The choice of actions, of speeches, depended on his imaginary vision of the situation or, at least, what he remembers of it.

Memoria as the Place of Fabrication of the New World 77

The meeting is described along two axes. The first is equivalent to the meeting of a savage king, whom Cartier identifies as such because he is carried by his men and adorned by what he calls a crown. What follows illustrates the power of the European king, whom Cartier personifies when he bestows the healing touch attributed to the King of France by Christian tradition, as well as a certain type of blessing for the sick. Cartier, instead of trying to understand what is really happening and to see in the 'old' man offifty- he himself is forty-four years old - a shaman, an ancient, an ambassador, or a council leader, and moreover a sick one, quickly gives him the tide of king, a tide he did not give Donnacona. Was it the fortified village, the military aspect of the place, that triggered in his imagination the notion of some palace or even some capital? It is difficult to demonstrate absolutely, but the same scenario is depicted in the print in Ramusio's book: some sort of equality exists between the leaders, the visit of a 'king' to another 'king.' The second axis deployed by a memoria that is strictly European is the religious ceremony. Carder's visit to Hochelaga took place on a Sunday. From all evidence, no priest accompanied the expedition. According to his own account, Cartier performed for the savages, but one may be permitted to think the actions were also for himself and his men, a sort of ceremonial 'white mass' that comprised two parts: the reading of the Gospel of St John, whose 'in principio' is named, and the Passion of our Lord, which takes him about two hours to read. If one tries to imagine the scene, it must be rather comical. Was the text read in Latin or French? The account is unclear on this point, as it identifies St John's text by its Latin incipit and the Passion in French. Be that as it may, one can conclude that the Natives were unable to understand anything, and, as the texts may have been read in Latin, neither would most of the French. Yet, on that Sunday, 3 October 1535, a religious ceremony took place in New France in front of savage peoples. Carder's narratives are shot through with a European imaginary that ignores nearly everything of what occurs in terra incognita except in the very precise field of navigation and geographic 'discovery.' The memoria, as progenitor of the discourse being elaborated, is extremely rigid. If this rigidity is taken into consideration, we then understand why, in Carder's accounts, the presence of the savages is accompanied by either fear or a feeling of treason, despite the fact that the French are the only ones who do the Natives injuries they do not comprehend, and who ultimately betray their trust. The long-term failure of Carder's expeditions is not surprising. Champlain's attitude, as revealed through his travel narratives, is

78 Gilles Therien

totally different. I have chosen a short example from the 1609 expedition against the Iroquois, with allies that Champlain had difficulty identifying correctly. Champlain joined a group of Native warriors and agreed to sail the River of the Iroquois (known today as the Richelieu) with them. There were only a few Frenchmen in the boat and they suddenly found themselves unable to cross some rapids, perhaps those at Chambly. Champlain decided to leave his boat and continue his journey in the Native canoes with only two other Frenchmen, surrounded by about sixty warriors, his new allies, whom he trusted. It was by this means of transportation, seldom used by Europeans, that he discovered the lake that bears his name, met the Iroquois warriors who had come for the war, and took part in the battle, even if he did not understand its geopolitical significance. Once the two 'armies' were present, they each partook of a feast before engaging, the next morning, in a very short battle during which the French fired their muskets, which immediately ended the war. Champlain was relatively serene in the face of all this. He trusted, he learned, he took note, he did not take offence. Nor was he afraid when he risked his life in situations where the balance of power was completely against him, something Carder had always avoided. Champlain was not only a discoverer and a founder, but a colonizer - someone who settles on lands already occupied and is ready to come to terms with the new reality. His memoria, while nurtured in Europe, was open to a form of imaginary metissage, and this flexibility played an important role in his attitude towards the Natives. Yet, his memoria was not always flexible, and this problem is a good illustration of the equilibrium that attempts to establish itself when two different memoria meet. During the same trip, on the way home, the warriors brought back prisoners. They began to torture one in a way that Champlain found particularly cruel. Champlain, invited to take part in the torture, recorded his response: 'I pointed out to them that we did not commit such cruelties, but that we killed people outright, and that if they wished me to shoot him with the arquebus, I should be glad to do so' (Champlain 1922-36, 2: 102-3). The Natives continued their torture but, when they realized that Champlain seemed displeased, allowed him to kill the prisoner with his musket, which did not prevent them from dismembering the body and performing cannibalistic rites. In this rather violent episode, Champlain's desire to apply his own rules in the treatment of prisoners is clear: one kills them; one does not torment them. Such a conviction is part of his military code. He does

Memoria as the Place of Fabrication of the New World


not understand the ritual meaning of what is going on before him. As for the Native warriors, they are willing to introduce the killing into their own ritual, but without interrupting it. The example is complex, but it shows that, somewhere along the line, one learns to know the Other, and that such acts did not impede the alliance between the French and Native people. Champlain does not use his description of the torture to condemn the Natives' behaviour. He takes note, disapproves of what he cannot approve, but concludes his text as follows: 'So we all separated with great protestations of mutual friendship, and they asked me if I would not go to their country, and aid them continually like a brother. I promised them I would' (Champlain 1922-36, 2: 1045). Here Champlain's memoria is flexible: it knows how to adapt and does not demand that the Native people convert to his own way of thinking. If we look at the Jesuits' writings, we must first admit, as I have mentioned earlier, that their memoria is fixed in a particularly rigid monotheist and theological frame of mind of the kind found in Loyola's Spiritual Exercises and in the famous Jesuit advice that a member of the order should submit to his obligations perinde ac cadaver (as if he were a lifeless body). It does not mean that the Jesuits' memoria is not subjected to the same forces of overture, metissage, or even of closure and rigidity. The difficulty is that the Jesuits believe above all in a homogeneity of thought and action. Speech and action must be proof of one mind alone, one spirituality. We find the first example in the writings of Jean de Brebeuf. In 1635, he settled in Ihonatiria and had to have a house built to avoid having to stay, as he had done since he returned to Huronia, in a Huron longhouse. Brebeuf had some very precise plans for this house: The cabins of this country are neither Louvres nor Palaces, nor anything like the buildings of our France, not even like the smallest cottages. They are, nevertheless, somewhat better and more commodious than the hovels of the Montagnais. I cannot better express the fashion of the Huron dwellings than to compare them to bowers or garden arbors, some of which, in place of branches and vegetation, are covered with cedar bark, some others with large pieces of ash, elm, fir, or spruce bark ... There are cains or arbors of various sizes, some two brasses [two spans] in length, others of ten, others of twenty, of thirty, of forty; the usual width is about four brasses, their height is about the same. There are no different stories; there is no cellar, no chamber, no garret. It has neither window nor

8o Gilles Therien chimney, only a miserable hole in the top of the cabin, left to permit the smoke to escape. This is the way they built ours for us. The people of Oenrio and of our village were employed at this, by means of presents given them ... As to the interior, we have suited ourselves; so that, even if it does not amount to much, the Savages never weary of coming to see it, and, seeing it, to admire it. We have divided it into three parts. The first compartment, nearest the door, serves as an ante-chamber, as a storm door, and as a storeroom for our provisions, in the fashion of the Savages. The second is that in which we live, and is our kitchen, our carpenter shop, our mill, or place for grinding wheat, our Refectory, our parlor and our bedroom. On both sides, in the fashion of the Hurons, are two benches which they call Endicha, on which are boxes to hold our clothes and other little conveniences; but below, in the place where the Hurons keep their wood, we have contrived some little bunks to sleep in, and to store away some of our clothing from the thievish hands of the Hurons. They sleep beside the fire, but still they and we have only the earth for bedstead; for mattress and pillows, some bark or boughs covered with a rush mat; for sheets and coverings, our clothes and some skins do duty. The third part of our cabin is also divided into two parts by means of a bit of carpentry which gives it a fairly good appearance, and which is admired here for its novelty. In the one is our little Chapel, in which we celebrate every day holy Mass, and we retire there daily to pray to God. It is true that the almost continual noise they make usually hinders us, - except in the morning and evening when everybody has gone away, - and compels us to go outside to say our prayers. In the other part we put our utensils. The whole cabin is only six brasses long, and about three and a half wide. That is how we are lodged, doubtless not so well that we may not have in this abode a good share of rain, snow, and cold. (JR8: 1O4-9).4 As we can see, Brebeuf borrows the housing style of the Huron all the while knowing that he will find neither the comfort of the city nor the distress of the nomadic Montagnais' habitat. But once the shell is built, he transforms the inside completely. It is no longer truly a Huron longhouse but a European house with subdivisions according to their uses. From the outside, the observer might think it is a hut like any other, but a visit inside will reveal the differences. Memoria, whose most important topos is place, is used here as an example of the blending that attempts to express itself in daily living. The object is to be like the others, to be as little different as possible, to

Memoria as the Place of Fabrication of the New World


show a certain friendliness by adopting, at least in part, the customs of the Other. A small incident confirms this very evident tendency in Brebeuf. Among their baggage, the Jesuits have managed to bring to New France a mill to grind corn. The object is to improve the staple sagamite. Yet, after a trial period the Jesuit notes, 'we have not used [the mill], inasmuch as we have learned by experience that our Sagamites are better pounded in a wooden mortar, in the fashion of the Savages, than ground within the mill. I believe it is because the mill makes the flour too fine' (/R8: 110-11). Brebeuf s attitude is reminiscent of Champlain's. Nor is it limited to housing types and corn mills; it is at the heart of his life among the Hurons. Whenever possible, he acted like them and adopted their customs, which might explain why some of the Huron greatly admired him. To understand Brebeuf s attitude, one must also realize that he was one of the Jesuits who best spoke the Huron tongue, which made it possible for him to make allowances, to be flexible. His memoria could communicate with that of the Huron's. The situation changed drastically when Brebeuf was replaced as Huronia's superior by Jerome Lalemant in 1638. Lalemant did not know the Native languages very well. He thought that the missions were not sufficiently productive, given the small number of converted. He also concluded that it was a considerable waste of time to travel from one Huron village to the next, and, in 1639, having written down all of his complaints against the Huron, their lifestyle, their superstitions, and the dangers they posed to the missionaries, he mapped out plans for a residence. The notion was hardly new, but it took on special importance in the mind of Lalemant, who decided to transform the work of the missions by building a permanent residence from which the missions and the spiritual life of the Jesuits would be better organized. A building in the European style was to become the religious and political capital of Huronia. The land was purchased and very quickly a residence, Ste Marie, was built, with three large centres of activity. The first, fortified and built of wood and stone, was strictly reserved for the Jesuits and the French. The Jesuits lived as they did in France, with cells within the residence, and common rooms like the refectory, the chapel, and sundry buildings reserved for the occupations that would make them self-sufficient. They were thus able to live in stricter conformity to the rules of their community. A second area, less fortified than the first and comprising a long-

82 Gilles Therien

house, a church, a hospital, and a cemetery, was meant for converted Huron only. A third area, for the unconverted, was not fortified at all and appeared like an extra growth to which no one had really paid attention. Most of the authors of the Relations think that this building had a detrimental effect on the Huron missions because, by abandoning the Huron in their villages and by concentrating all the power on one site, Lalemant left the villages scattered in the region extremely vulnerable to Iroquois attacks. Father Ragueneau's implicit criticism of Lalemant for leaving the Huron villages undefended was evident. In 1649 Ragueneau was obliged to set fire to the Ste Marie residence before fleeing to St Joseph Island after the terrible Huron defeat at the hands of the Iroquois, and particularly after the death of Jean de Brebeuf and the other Jesuits killed by the Iroquois. One can still visit the residence at Ste Marie, whose restoration was made possible by the work of archaeologists. In visiting this site, one begins to understand that the European memoria attempted to implant itself in Huronia without thought to context, without thought to the others. It was a projection of the imaginary of a technocratic Jesuit more accustomed to urban intrigues or the tranquillity of the College de Clermont than to the reality of a semisedentary people fighting their first war in the European style, a war whose intent was strictly pillage and massacre, not the war rituals witnessed by Champlain. Ste Marie Among the Hurons was a monument to a memoria that was blind and corpse-like in its rigidity. My last example is taken from a incident that occurred in 1652 and 1653 and was related by Father Francois le Mercier, who was then the superior (JRA 40: 197-209). A group of Algonquin hunters found the tracks of what they believed to be Iroquois. They chased them, took them prisoner, and brought them back to the Native residence at Sillery, where they began to mistreat them until the captain of the residence, Noel Tekouerimat, expressed doubts as to the identity of the prisoners. He thought they might be Abenaki from the New England area. After deliberations aimed at avoiding the torture and death of one of the prisoners, it was decided to free two of them so that they could go back to their nation to explain what had happened and could ask that the prisoners held by the Socoqui, a nation related to the Abenaki, be freed in exchange for a possible alliance. In the meantime, the other three would be held as hostages. Six months went by before a delegation, for which the two former captives acted as ambassadors, returned to Sillery. They were loaded with gifts, but did not have the captives asked for by the Sillery population. After many councils, during which a

Memoria as the Place of Fabrication of the New World


certain mistrust was evident, it was decided to agree for the sake of agreeing. A ceremony then took place and was recorded with care by the narrator, although, by his own admission, he did not quite understand what was happening. But the people of Sillery were happy, and that is all that mattered to Father le Mercier, who was concerned with peace between the diverse Native nations. The meeting with the ambassadors and the exhibition of the gifts took place in a room of the Jesuit residence at Sillery. The presents were laid out on a rope. There were collars, bracelets, earrings, and two calumets. The most important ambassador then presented a collar, 'composed of white and violet-coloured porcelain, so arranged as to form figures, which this worthy man explained after his own fashion. "There," he said, "are the lakes, there are the rivers, there are the mountains and valleys that must be passed; and there are the portages and waterfalls. Note everything, to the end that, in the visits that we shall pay one another, no one may get lost. The roads will be easy now, and no more ambuscades will be feared. All persons who are met will be so many friends'" (JR 40: 203-5). The ceremony ended in joy and joint demonstrations of affection. The Jesuit narrator remains silent on the meaning of the objects presented to the people of Sillery, in particular the great necklace. It seems to me that we have here an example of very concrete aspects of memoria that are totally indecipherable for the Jesuits. Isn't the white and violet porcelain collar an exterior sign of this memoria that both of the Native parties have agreed to recognize, to mingle in such a way that an ancestral alliance, long forgotten, might be resurrected? Perhaps the collar is merely a wampum destined to re-establish the balance between the two groups, but perhaps it is also, as the elder explains, the map, abstract though it might be, of a far-away country whose direction, roads, and codes had been lost. Evidently, the Native gesture is to revive a memory, but the Jesuits do not understand. This example illustrates the limits of the meeting of two memoria. The fusion is not possible unless one memoria disappears within the other. We are no longer speaking of exchange and sharing but of assimilation. Metissage, as we know, is the common weaving of a new memoria, where elements of each existing memoria find their importance, their usefulness, in a new arrangement, a new order. What we see from the collar episode is a range of attitudes illustrating the successes or the failures of such metissage, and sometime simply its mystery. Rhetoric is intimately tied to the history of mentalities. The one we have encountered in the events recounted here belongs particularly to

84 Gilles Therien

the Jesuits' universe, but, through European culture and the traditions of Ratio Studiorum, it influences us also. It is not a technique that accompanies the faculty of memory, the plea for truth, or the evangelization in the name of God. We are not in front of a sermon but of a narrative, the relating of a meeting where the self and another must recognize each other if a new world is to emerge out of this meeting. Rhetoric, in its most noble meaning, is the work of singularizing speech from language that, standardized in a dictionary, is by that fact incapable of producing a single sentence that can touch us with its poetry or its emotional charge. Rhetoric is also a recourse to everyone's complexity, giving birth to a new understanding, a rich and powerful link that is perceptible when one possesses the different imaginaries but never excludes the possibility of a meeting. Memoria is the history of everyone as an individual and a people, a story one must know how to listen to, understand, and complete with one's own story. The polemic that seems inherent to rhetoric is the perversion into which it falls when discourse and thought become homogeneous, and it has only one end: to impose itself as the truth. You will understand, then, that my sole ambition in confronting these examples has been to attempt to share my own memoria, and not to convince anyone of its truth. NOTES 1 For this usage of 'tropes,' see Groupe Mu (1970); for 'arguments,' see Perelman (1977) and Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca (1970). 2 Jesuit rhetoric is pledged to the Spiritual Exercises; it is this essential dimension that seems to be lacking in the otherwise remarkable work of Marc Fumaroli, L 'Age de ['eloquence (1980). 3 As Michel Bideaux notes in his critical edition of the Relations of Jacques Cartier (Carder 1986, 373), this part of the text does not seem to take place at the same time as the Hochelaga visit. 4 Brebeuf is cited here from the English translation in JR. The only complete edition of his writings is Jean de Brebeuf, Edits en Huronie, a modernized text edited by Gilles Therien (Brebeuf 1996).

PART II Mentalites / Debwewin

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The Sixteenth-Century French Vision of Empire: The Other Side of Self-Determination Olive Patricia Dickason

Columbus's discovery of the fourth part of the world in 1492, and the Alexandrine bulls of the following year that divided these newly revealed regions between Spain and Portugal, struck at the national self-esteem of Francois i, King of France (1515-47). By what right was France, as Catholic a power as Spain or Portugal, excluded from these newly discovered regions? As the French royal cosmographer Andre Thevet (i5i7?-9O) would later observe, those lands were large enough to accommodate the ambitions of fifty Christian monarchs; not only did France have a 'right' to colonize, it had a special responsibility to do so because of the civilizing benefits that it could bring to indigenous peoples (Thevet 1575, i: 965). In other words, 'self-determination,' although that expression was not yet in use, was very much the order of the day for the French monarch, indeed for all national monarchs capable of asserting it. In their view it was their duty as rulers not only to ensure the right to independence of their respective nation-state societies, but also to exercise their perceived right to expand their power and influence over non-state societies, which they did not see as having evolved sufficiently to claim independence. Today, five centuries later, political thought has come full circle, and it is now the once-colonized indigenous non-state nations that are demanding 'self-determination,' which, without the expansionist aspect, has come to be regarded as a right shared by all peoples, whatever their type of political organization. The two great happenings of sixteenth-century Europe - discoveries in the New World and the Reformation - both brought challenges for France, albeit in different spheres. As Spain and Portugal moved quickly to establish imperial monopolies in the New World, France began a long slide into a civil war (1562-98) that pitted Catholic against Protes-

88 Olive Patricia Dickason

tant. Embroiled as it was, France still moved to assert its 'right' to colonies. It is small wonder that under these particular circumstances, France's early attempts at realizing this goal fell short of success. During the sixteenth century, the only French colony that maintained a continuing presence was in Algiers.1 The irony of this record is evident when one considers France's subsequent reputation for being the most successful of all European colonial powers in its relations with aboriginal populations. It was a reputation built upon trading, rather than colonial, relationships, although both were factors. France had not lacked a sense of direction in the colonial sweepstakes. The famous challenge of Francois i to the Spanish ambassador that he produce Adam's will in support of Spain's New World claims (Gaffarel 1892, 2: 303; 1878, 20) was more than a diplomatic flourish; it was an expression of popular national sentiment that strongly favoured French imperial expansion. With that end in view, Francois turned to a current theory, that permanent European settlement was necessary for suzerainty to be established over newly claimed lands that were deemed to be legally vacant because their Native inhabitants led migratory lives and had not organized themselves into nation-states (Julien, Herval, and Beauchesne 1946, 14). During the sixteenth century, the principal exponents for a French overseas empire were the Huguenots, those who had opted for the Reformed religion in the face of their country's official Catholicism. In their search for a refuge that would be under the French flag (Protestants were as fiercely nationalistic as their Catholic compatriots), but also to take advantage of new commercial opportunities, the Huguenots looked to the Americas to realize their aspirations. Thus, at this time, French colonial projects were largely, although not exclusively, Huguenot enterprises (Lestringant 1990). Four of these early attempts will be compared here: one in Canada, two in Brazil, and one in what was to become the United States. Three of the episodes took place in regions actively claimed by other European powers: Portugal in the case of the Brazilian plan, and Spain in that of the United States. The situation was not so clear in Canada, as neither Spain nor Portugal was actively colonizing that far north. The latter had made a short-lived attempt along a coast, the location of which is now unknown; all that remains is a skimpy and incomplete documentary record (Alfonse 1559, 28). Yet the Spanish and Portuguese claims had the formidable weight of international sanction behind them, backed as they were by the papal bulls of 1493 and reinforced by the Treaty of Tordesillas of the following year.

The Sixteenth-Century French Vision of Empire 89 The Setting

France at this time shared the general European view that those regions of the Americas occupied by mobile hunters and gatherers (a large part of the two continents) were res nullius- that is, legally vacant. This belief was based on the notion that migratory peoples, living 'sans foi, sans loi, sans roi,' and 'ranging the land like wild beasts,' were not legally inhabitants, and so did not qualify for dominium.2 In support of this position, a leading scholastic theologian, John Major, provided an argument that was destined to become a principal motor of colonialism. Major, a Scots Dominican lecturing at the University of Paris, was an outspoken supporter of the right of non-Christian societies to their own political dominion. However, he did not think that Amerindians qualified for such a right: the news from the Americas was that they were human in form only, living according to nature. In that case, wrote Major, Aristotle's doctrine of natural servitude, 'that some men are by nature free and others servile,' would apply (Major 1510, dist. 44, quest. 3). In sixteenth-century French thinking, Aristotle's hierarchy of superior and inferior, and of the right of the superior to rule the inferior, was beyond dispute. Its application to Amerindians appeared to be simply common sense. A favourite adjective referring to the New World peoples was 'pauvre,' used in connection with both their spiritual and material states. The Amerindians, for their part, considered that their lands must be more bounteous than those of Europe - why else would Europeans leave their countries for the Americas? While willing to cooperate and share with the newcomers, they never doubted their rights to their own lands, and they certainly never saw themselves as inferior to anyone. The stage had been prepared for French colonial initiatives during the first half of the sixteenth century, and the French moved with great speed to take advantage of new economic opportunities. They exploited the fisheries of the north Atlantic from the beginning of the century, but it was the dyewood trade from the Brazilian coast that caught the public imagination. In 1503 Captain Binot Paulmier de Gonneville of Honfleur had sailed his ship, the Espoir, to Brazil, where he spent six months trading among the Carijo, a branch of the Tupi-Guaram, semisedentary agriculturalists who at that time occupied most of the Brazilian Atlantic coast. The French were well prepared for the voyage, with an appropriate assortment of trade goods, but the Carijo had previously met Europeans and had reason to complain of their behaviour (Gaffarel 1892, 2: 335; Avezac-Macaya, 1869). The principal lure for Gonne-

go Olive Patricia Dickason ville had been brazilwood, a source of red dye much sought after by France's burgeoning textile industry, all the more because it was in very short supply in Europe. Other items of interest included parrots (particularly valued if they could speak French), as well as monkeys, peppers, cotton, and ocelot skins. Economically, the Brazilian trade brought great prosperity to such Atlantic port cities as Rouen and Honfleur; politically, it would point to away for the French to challenge the Portuguese in Brazil. The problem was not simple. A head-on confrontation would not only be expensive, it could be very risky. As it was, Portuguese opposition to the French dyewood trade was exacting a high price in goods, ships, and personnel (Asseline 1874, i: 348; La Ronciere 1899-1932; Dickason ig84b, 34). To make counter-discovery claims was more successful in arousing controversy than in establishing a point; French assertions that Dieppois Jean Cousin had been the first European to reach Brazil, in 1488, convinced only the French themselves, not the international community. Instead, the French resorted to legal doctrines that were internationally recognized in principle, even if frequently contested in specific cases. These doctrines were freedom of the seas and freedom of trade, both of which were seen as arising from natural law, that of the seas directly and that of trade indirectly through jus gentium (law of nations). Dominican Francisco de Vitoria of the University of Salamanca, considered by many to be the father of international law, had used both points to argue Spain's right in the Americas (Vitoria [1557] !9i7. 151-2; Green and Dickason 1989, 187-8, 216-17, 244). There was a catch to freedom of trade, however: it was deemed to apply in newly discovered lands only until a European nation claimed exclusive rights. That this left plenty of room for disagreement in particular instances was only too evident along the Brazilian coast, where Portuguese claims to suzerainty were not backed up with settlements, and so did not deter French traders. In the hurly-burly of New World politics, legal principles took second place to what one could get away with. The French had another string to their legal bow, which they used with considerable effect, and which suggested what would become the most famous of their colonizing techniques. It was based on the Roman legal maxim that had long since become established in canon law, quod omnes tangit, ab omnibus approbetur (that which touches all is to be approved by all). This was the doctrine of consent, which could be interpreted to mean that, in the eyes of the law, traders or colonizers could operate in newly 'discovered' lands only if they had the consent of the

The Sixteenth-Century French Vision of Empire 91

Native people. Proclaiming that this principle applied as much to the Amerindians as anyone else, the French set about cultivating Native alliances in those areas where they judged these would be profitable. In the case of the brazilwood trade, this was an exceedingly practical, if not indispensable, method of operation, as the dyewood had to be cut and prepared for shipment, a service that the Natives were in the best position to provide. The French accordingly cultivated those branches of the Tupi-Guarani in whose lands the best stands of brazilwood were to be found. The Tupinamba, as the most important of the allies, figure prominendy in early French accounts, so much so that they became the stereotypical Amerindian, as the Huron would become in the northern fur trade (later to be superseded by the Cree), and the plains Sioux in Wild West lore. An effective technique was to send young French men and boys to live with the Brazilians, to learn their languages and customs, and in many cases to intermarry and so form blood relationships. These 'interpreters' (truchements in sixteenth-century French) were popularly known as Normans, in reference to the region in France from which most of them originated. They became an indispensable link in the French-Brazilian trade. Establishing good relations with the Native people was one step; the next was to have these relations recognized in Europe as justification for a permanent French presence in the New World. Taking a cue from the explorers' custom of bringing back natives of the lands they had visited as proof of their 'discoveries,' and the practice that developed from this of teaching the involuntary visitors the language of their kidnappers so that they could act as go-betweens and guides on subsequent voyages, the French brought delegations of their Brazilian allies to Europe. In Rouen, a major centre for the brazilwood trade, a house for the Brazilian visitors was set aside at 17 rue Malpalu; they as well as other Amerindians (including some from Canada) also stayed in other French Atlantic port cities and, of course, in Paris. The Brazilians were presented at court, where they formally requested French protection against their enemies, and asked for missionaries to instruct them in Christianity. The French did their best to make sure that embassies from rival colonial powers were present to witness such requests. They proclaimed their right to evangelize in the New World by staging baptismal spectaculars, with the highest nobles in the land standing in as godparents. One of the most celebrated of these occasions occurred in 1614, as we shall later see in connection with France's second attempt to colonize in Brazil.

92 Olive Patricia Dickason

Visiting Amerindians also found themselves involved in the royal civic entries that were such a ceremonial feature of the perambulating French court of this period. The pageants, distant descendants of the Roman triumph, included Brazilians among the nations who made their ceremonial submissions to the king (Dickason ig84a, 213-17). In the most famous of these events, which was staged in Rouen in 1550 for Henri n and Catherine de Medici, two Brazilian villages were recreated on the banks of the Seine. Not only were flora and fauna from Brazil imported for the occasion, but so were 50 Brazilians. Also participating were 150 French sailors who were familiar enough with Native languages and ways to re-enact village life and demonstrate the collection and preparation of brazilwood for loading on a ship waiting in the river. A poem was addressed to the king, asking him to expel the Portuguese from Brazil (Denis 1850; Nowell 1949, 382). This occasion played a major role in influencing Henri to support the first French attempt to establish a colony in Brazil, which took place five years later. The Portuguese remained convinced that the French in Brazil were nothing more than pirates, and they treated them as such whenever they could, fighting on the seas, in Brazilian territory, and in the courts. When the Portuguese made a spectacular capture of a richly laden French trading vessel, La Pelerine, in 1532, the French claimed restitution not only on the basis of freedom of the seas and freedom of trade, but also on the grounds that Brazilians were free to trade with whomever they wanted, as Europeans had no jurisdiction over them without their consent (Gaffarel 1878, 87). Such arguments may have spurred the Portuguese to step up colonization; but Brazilian space was such that the French were able to continue trading. First French Attempt: The St Lawrence, 1541-1543

Despite the attractions of Brazil, it was Canada that offered the first practical opportunity for the French to realize their 'dream of empire' (Vachon, Chabot, and Desrosiers 1982). Although the fishing and whaling activities of Bretons and Basques in the north Atlantic and the Gulf of St Lawrence had not caught public imagination as had the Brazilian trade, they were still yielding handsome profits. Bretons had been so long on the scene that cartographers commonly included 'Tierra de los bretones,' 'C. del Breton,' or variations thereof in their maps of the region (Green and Dickason 1989, 217). However, European territorial claims were not firmly established in the region. For one thing, it was

The Sixteenth-Century French Vision of Empire 93

not yet clear where Canada lay in relation to the dividing line that Spain and Portugal had agreed upon in 1494. Both powers were fully occupied elsewhere, so that while they considered they had rights to the region, neither was fully committed to asserting its claims. The situation was such that Francois i felt free to take the initiative. In 1524 he sent Giovanni da Verrazzano along the Atlantic coast to assess its potentialities; this was followed by the commissioning of the St Malo capitain, Jacques Carrier (1491-1557), to continue the explorations. Carder did this on his first two voyages (1534, 1535-6), which led to the decision to attempt a settlement on the St Lawrence, a 'well-populated' region, whose people he found to be 'as obedient and friendly as possible, and just as familiar as if they had been brought up with us forever' (Thevet 1986, 6). The land was teeming with wildlife; as Carder reported it, the river was 'the richest in every kind of fish that any one remembers having seen or heard of.' Even more intriguing were the stories the Nadve peoples told of a faraway 'kingdom of the Saguenay' whose people possessed 'great store of gold and copper' (Carder 1993, 74-5). On all counts, the occasion seemed made to order for France to launch its American empire. In contrast to the other failed attempts that will be dealt with here, religious considerations did not enter into this enterprise; missionaries were not included. Elaborate preparations and considerable amounts of money were lavished on France's first attempt to colonize in the Americas. JeanFrancois de la Rocque de Roberval (c. 1500-60) was chosen to head the colony, while Carder captained the fleet; the combined operation was reported to have included about 900 persons, almost certainly an exaggeration (Carder 1993, 154). For the Atlantic crossing, the fleet was split between the two leaders. Both Carder and Roberval contributed financially to the venture. It was provisioned for two years, and included farming implements and animals - cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and horses - the first Old World farm animals to be seen in the St Lawrence valley (Cartier 1993, 194; Trudel 1963-83, i: 138). Official and commercial enthusiasm for the venture did not percolate down to the lower orders of French society, and consequently the body of the colonists was recruited largely from prisons and among social outcasts (Carder 1993, 139-40). In spite of the careful preparations, the enterprise did not plan for the climate, more rigorous than the French were used to, even though this was the period of the Little Ice Age in Europe (c. 1450-1850). Indeed, the comparative severity of the Laurentian climate would soon present them with subsistence and survival problems.

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Roberval delayed the departure of his part of the fleet for the better part of a year in order to indulge in privateering. Thus, it was only Cartier and his group who arrived on the St Lawrence in 1541 to establish a French presence in lands 'uninhabited or not possessed or controlled by a Christian prince.'3 He and his group remained for the first year in the colony, which they named Charlesbourg-Royal; Roberval and his settlers, arriving after Cartier and his group departed, continued it for another year under the name of France-Roy. The people among whom the French established themselves were St Lawrence Iroquois, farmer/ hunters whose villages were strung along the north shore of the river as far as Hochelaga (Montreal). Thevet reported that they were more advanced than the naked Brazilians because they dressed in skins, a custom he attributed to the cold, 'and for no other reason' (Thevet 1986, 11). Later, Roberval would have his own interpretation of the situation: not considering skins as 'apparel,' in his eyes the Amerindians were 'all naked,' even though they wore breeches (Cartier 1993, i l l ) . At least one Frenchman thought that the St Lawrence Iroquois men looked rather 'like the portraits of Hercules' (Thevet 1986, 12). Whereas in Brazil the primacy of the dyewood trade and the presence of the Portuguese had ensured that the French carefully cultivated alliances with the Amerindians, on the St Lawrence the fur trade had not yet come into its own, and colonial rivals did not openly contest French activities. Consequently, there was no apparent need to be concerned about the Amerindians, even though the colonists were dependent on them for fresh food. The French came expecting to establish a settlement on the Old Word model, taking neither the Amerindians nor New World conditions into account. Misunderstandings quickly led to antagonisms. For example, the French, at first struck with wonder at the Amerindian gesture of hospitality of carrying the newcomers on their backs as they entered their village or when the French had difficulty in getting about,4 soon came to expect the service. The story is told of one of the French who had developed the habit of asking a certain Amerindian to take him for walks in this manner. On one such occasion, the Amerindian, with the Frenchman on his back, slipped on the rocky path bordering the river, and the Frenchman beat him with his cane. Without a word, the Amerindian strangled the Frenchman and threw him in the water. When a nearby Frenchman drew his sword, the Amerindian gave him the same treatment.5 On other occasions, Amerindians were reported to have been mutilated and killed 'for a pastime' by 'brainless' young members of the

The Sixteenth-Century French Vision of Empire


French colony (Thevet [1558] 1878, 422-3; 1575, ioi2 v ). According to a Spanish report, the situation, tense from the start as a consequence of encounters during Carder's second voyage (1535-6), soon degenerated into open conflict, resulting in serious manpower losses for the French (Trudel 1963-83, i: 151-3). According to Roberval, Cartier had reported that the colony had not been able to withstand the Stadaconans, who went 'about daily to annoy him.'6 Believing he had struck it rich with finds of precious ores, including diamonds, Cartier returned to France with his famous load of iron pyrites, 'fool's gold.' It would give rise to the saying 'false as diamonds from Canada.'7 Roberval, re-establishing the colony in 1542, would add his foibles to its troubles. At first, he did not encounter overt hostility from the Amerindians, suggesting that their enmity had been directed against Cartier and his group rather than against the French in general. Trading soon began, for which the French were appreciative when they ran short of provisions and the Amerindians offered them a 'great store' of fresh fish (Cartier 1993, no). Subsequently, trading apparently dwindled, indicating that Roberval was no more successful than Cartier in his dealings with the Native peoples. Back in France, Antoine de Montchrestien, dramatist, economist, and advocate of better treatment of Amerindians by colonizers, would be unequivocal in his judgment of Roberval, claiming that his administration of the colony had led only to disorder, quarrels, and fatigue, while his mistreatment of Amerindians had led to the 'ruin of his plans' (Montchrestien 1615, 214). In his administration of the colony, Roberval followed contemporary European practices, shackling colonists for offences and hanging one of them for theft. One can but speculate what impression such measures must have made on the Amerindians, who reserved such treatment for their enemies rather than their own compatriots. At the same time, Roberval lost a quarter of his colonists to illness, probably scurvy, a disaster that Cartier had avoided because of his 1535-6 overwintering experience. On that earlier occasion, friendly Natives had shown the French how to cure scurvy by drinking a tea from the boiled leaves and ground bark of a tree called 'Anneda' (thought to be a variety of spruce). On another level entirely, it has been theorized that only the strength of Roberval's military complement prevented Amerindian attacks such as had plagued Cartier (Trudel 1963-83, i: 160). Expensive as the colonization project had been to launch, it needed still more reinforcements and supplies if it were to keep going. The royal treasury was already overtaxed because of France's European

96 Olive Patricia Dickason

involvements, so no additional help was forthcoming. An inscription on a Descellier map of 1550 put the matter succinctly, if defensively: 'as it was not possible to trade with the people of this country because of their aloofness and the intemperance of the land and small profits, they had returned to France and hoped to come back when it pleased the King' (Dickason 19843, 172). The enterprise had lasted barely two years in total, from 1541 to 1543. The failure gave rise to a clamour in France from opponents of colonization, particularly of Canada, who claimed that the climate was not only cold, but unhealthy. Besides, as Carder's misadventure had proven, no gold or other precious minerals were to be found. It would be half a century before France would attempt to plant another colony in Canada. First French Attempt in Brazil, 1555-1560

France immediately began to cast about for a suitable location for another attempt at colonizing the New World. Brazil offered the advantages the St Lawrence valley had lacked: French alliances with the local Amerindians were on a solid footing, trade (principally in dyewood) was flourishing, and the climate was agreeable. In addition, mounting religious tensions at home gave urgency to the Huguenot need for a home away from home. The disadvantage was the Portuguese presence, but the new region was so vast that this was not seen as particularly threatening. The situation seemed promising to recoup the St Lawrence failure; national pride demanded as much, a demand that continued to have strong popular support, despite pockets of opposition. Into the scene stepped Chevalier Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon (c. 1510-71), Knight of Malta, with a vision of founding an overseas haven where religious tolerance would reign even as it brought 'honour, glory and profit' to France (Brefrecueil 1565, A v ). He won high-placed support from both ends of the religious spectrum. On the one hand there was Gaspard de Coligny (1519-72), Seigneur de Chatillon, d&l'admiral, who interceded with the king to help obtain two armed vessels of 200 tons each, as well as a supply vessel and 10,000 francs, a substantial start for the colonizing fleet. Coligny would later become identified with the Huguenots, although at this time he had not yet declared himself. At the other end of the spectrum, Louis, Cardinal de Lorraine, a member of the violently anti-Huguenot Guise family, also lent his considerable weight in support of the enterprise. Villegaignon further emphasized the project's ecumenical character by including among his colonists the Franciscan

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cosmographer Andre Thevet, who stayed less than three months, and later by bringing out Calvinist ministers, one of whom was Jean de Lery (i534-i6n?), who stayed about ten months. Both of these men left accounts of their Brazilian experiences that are important sources of information for ethnographers today. Protestants were far more motivated to join the enterprise than Catholics, particularly when Henri n moved to extirpate 'heresy' in France. When Coligny emerged as the venture's principal backer, and clearly identified himself with the Protestant cause in 1559, the colony's character seemed assured. The wild card was Villegaignon himself: his early sympathies for Protestantism were not sufficient to sustain his stance in favour of toleration once the battle lines were drawn and positions became entrenched.8 The story of the colony's misfortunes began with the fact that very few women joined the enterprise, and most of the men were more interested in striking it rich than in the hard work of establishing a permanent settlement. Preparations were so inadequate that colonists came without farming equipment and even without sufficient food. Once they arrived at the bay the Native people called Guanabara (Rio de Janeiro), Villegaignon did his best to isolate his colonists from the Tupinamba, despite existing alliances and even though they were dependent on the Natives for both labour and food. He alienated the Norman interpreters by trying to regulate their lives, particularly in regard to women. These moves, along with his attempts to interfere with Native customs, pleased neither Amerindian allies nor settlers. As the colony struggled with its problems, news came that the Catholics were gaining the upper hand in France's civil war. Villegaignon immediately moved to prevent the Protestants among the colonists from publicly practising their faith. This, of course, gave rise to resentment, conspiracy, and revolt, particularly as Villegaignon's governance became more repressive and cruel. This extraordinary switch from his founding goals culminated in his precipitous departure in 1559 for France to defend himself against charges of maladministration, an apparent abandonment of the colony that has been severely criticized.9 Even so, when the Portuguese finally located the colony in 1560, the colonists put up a spirited, if hopeless, resistance. Because of its religious aspects, the Villegaignon episode culminated in a virulent pamphlet war: of all France's colonial enterprises of this period, it gave rise to the greatest number of publications. The puzzle, at least with hindsight, is why the French appeared to ignore fifty years of experience in Brazil to march straight into disaster. Much attention has been paid to the character of Villegaignon, which

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was certainly an important factor. But he did not operate in a vacuum; like Roberval, he was an aristocrat of his time. Although he had been informed about Brazilian realities, he did not seem to have considered that they could have a real effect on his project. There is no evidence that it ever occurred to him, any more than it had occurred to Roberval, that Europeans could have something to learn from Amerindian solutions to the problems of living under New World conditions. In his recruiting campaign, Villegaignon had played down the cannibalism of the Brazilians. If Europeans were sometimes eaten, he said, this was because they had offended the Amerindians with their avarice and ambition. Moreover, he blamed the lack of missionary zeal on the part of both French and Portuguese for the continued practice of cannibalism, claiming that they 'had never spoken a single word about our Lord Jesus Christ to the poor people of that country' (Histoire des choses memorables 1561, 7). But there is no indication that, once in the New World, he made arrangements for evangelization. Neither Thevet, Lery, nor any of the other religious figures in the colony appear to have considered that such an activity was part of their mandate. Villegaignon did make every effort to purchase war prisoners from allies so that they would not be eaten, but then proceeded to overwork them and whip them into wearing clothes. As far as the prisoners were concerned, they found greater honour in their traditional fate (Lery [1580] 1972, 1758). In 1557 the French leader wrote to John Calvin that Brazilians were 'a fierce and savage people, far removed from courtesy and humanity, very different from us in learning and doing. So much so that it has occurred to me to wonder if we have fallen among beasts in the form of humanity.'10 The give-and-take that had made the brazilwood trade possible was notably lacking in the colony; indeed, it was not considered appropriate where permanent setdement was concerned. Ambiguity shrouds Villegaignon's early sympathies for Protestantism; the fact that he was a Knight of Malta should have meant that he was a defender of Catholicism. Jean de Lery and the Calvinist group that joined the colony in 1557 did so in the belief that Villegaignon was one of them; Lery would later refer to him as a traitor. Whatever his earlier inclinations, once civil war erupted in France, Villegaignon fought as a Catholic (Smith 1891). The Lure of Florida, 1562-1565 The high public profile of the Brazilian project came close to being

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matched by the Florida expeditions of 1562-5.n (The term 'Florida' at that time included parts of today's Carolinas.) Coligny had not allowed the Villegaignon failure to kill his dream of founding a haven for Huguenots; unfortunately, his second attempt would end in even bloodier disaster. Coligny and his associates had learned from the previous experiences, particularly that of Villegaignon. For one thing, this time there were no ambiguities as to aims: civil war in all its horror was spreading in France, and Coligny, now unequivocally on the Protestant side, had no intention of once more exporting religious conflict. Although this was essentially a Huguenot enterprise, its dedication to religious freedom was such that a preacher was not provided for at first, though religious services were insisted upon. Politically, they were motivated by the desire to tweak the Spanish king's nose, an ambition that had been gnawing at French national sensibilities since the papal bulls. In both of these aims, Coligny was in tune with his country's purpose; once more, as in Brazil, he had royal support, although this time not full sponsorship. The project was launched in 1562 with a voyage of reconnaissance led by Dieppois captain Jean Ribault, who claimed 'vacant' land by erecting columns (which the Huguenots were using at this point instead of crosses) bearing the arms of France. Amerindians in attendance were much interested in the ritual, which they assumed to have religious significance (see figure 2). Ribault confirmed French intentions by building Charlesfort on Port Royal Sound, and manning it with soldiers. Because France's internal troubles prevented needed reinforcements from being sent in time, it lasted only a few months. A second voyage (1564) under Rene de Goulaine de Laudonniere (i52g?-74) established the more permanent Fort Caroline (with the help of Amerindian labour) on the St John River to the south of the original fort. The third voyage (1565), under Ribault, brought out the main body of colonists, including families, who this time came equipped to establish an agricultural colony. Laudonniere would be no more successful than Villegaignon in establishing an agricultural base; he does not seem to have accorded it sufficient importance at first, as he fully expected the colony to be provisioned from France, at least initially. Later he would claim that most of the colony's troubles could have been avoided if France had sent the promised supplies. Coligny had selected Florida partly because of reports that the Spaniards had antagonized the Natives to the point that it was a Spanish 'cemetery' (Belleforest and Miinster 1575, 2: 2037, 2195). Although the


Olive Patricia Dickason

2 The Timucuan leader Athore greets Laudonniere and shows him a Huguenot column asserting French rights to 'vacant lands,' erected by Laudonniere's colleague, Ribault. Dietrich de Bry, after Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues. From Rene de Laudonniere, Brevis narratio eorum quae in Florida Americae provincia Gallis acdderunt (1591). National Archives of Canada, neg. 0-116149.

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French did not have an established trade in the region, they hoped that Amerindian-Spanish hostility could be used to their advantage. In this they were spurred by reports that the region was rich in precious minerals. The Floridian Natives, for their part, hoped for allies in their wars against neighbouring enemies, as well as against the Spanish. The principal point the French and Floridians had in common was their hatred of Spain. The Timucuans, among whom the French settled, were a matrilineal agricultural people influenced by the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex, which had connections with the Mississippian Mound Builders as well as with the city-states of Mexico. The Timucuans were organized into hierarchical chiefdoms, and lived in towns (sometimes palisaded) that included ceremonial mounds around a central plaza. Although the mounds were still in use when Europeans arrived, indications are that they were no longer being built. Today, these people are extinct. Good intentions on the part of the French were one thing; making them work in practice quickly proved to be something else again. The conquistador syndrome was all too prevalent among the colonists, the least of whom thought himself superior to the most powerful cacique (Gaffarel 1875, 89), an attitude which the Amerindians probably reciprocated, although we have no direct evidence of this among the Floridians.ia Laudonniere reported one occasion when some of his men 'exceedingly offended' a cacique by laughing during a solemn ceremony (Laudonniere [1586] I979a, 303). He himself was not free from similar attitudes; when the cacique Satouriona acted contrary to his wishes, the French leader's reaction was to consider 'howe I might be revenged of this Savage, and to make him know how dearely this bolde bravado of his should cost him' (Laudonniere [1586] I979b, 331). That he made little effort to understand Amerindians is evidenced by his own words: 'I never trusted them but upon good ground, as one that had discovered a thousand of their crafts and subtilties, aswell by experience as by reading of the histories of late yeres' (341). The room for misunderstanding appeared endless. It is not surprising that Laudonniere's alliances with Satouriona and other caciques were uneasy. The Frenchman would have preferred neutrality, but found that this was impossible in the situation in which the struggling colony found itself. Without provisions, with no supplies coming from France, and with colonists who, after constructing their necessary buildings, looked for treasure rather than clearing land and planting, or even hunting or fishing, Laudonniere had to turn to Amer-

1O2 Olive Patricia Dickason

indians for food and services. These the Native people were willing to provide in trade, but they considered that the French, in accepting their help, had become their allies and had incurred the responsibility of fighting with them in their wars. Laudonniere, of course, could not conceive of the French playing a secondary role in Amerindian politics. It was not only with Amerindians that Laudonniere experienced mounting tensions and distrust. Perpetual food shortages, which at times reached the point of famine, soured the colonists and contributed to outright mutiny. A fortuitous chain of circumstances helped Laudonniere to control the revolt, but the provisioning situation remained out of control. When the Amerindians mocked them for their continuing inability to provide for themselves, the angry French took one of their chiefs hostage in the hope of forcing more supplies from his people. The stratagem didn't work as expected: the Amerindians, seeing the French break their word as allies, expected they would kill the prisoner in any event. The long-promised reinforcements, in provisions and colonists, finally arrived in 1565 under the leadership of Jean Ribault, who was under orders to relieve Laudonniere of his command. Ribault never had the opportunity to fulfil his commission: caught in a storm, most of his convoy was driven ashore and into the arms of a Spanish expedition that had been sent to root out the French. This the Spaniards accomplished with bloody thoroughness, an action in which they may have been aided by Amerindians exasperated with the French.'s Satouriona was reported to have sheltered a French lad from the slaughter, one of the survivors who found refuge among the Amerindians (Maran 194355. i: 33O). Laudonniere was among the few (as was also the artist Jacques Lc Moyne de Morgues) who managed to return to France aboard a French ship that had survived the storm. Fort Caroline was renamed San Mateo by the Spanish. As a leader, Laudonniere had been no more consistent than Villegaignon, but along different lines. Where Villegaignon had become embroiled in a murderous religious conflict, Laudonniere could not organize his colony to provide for its basic needs, and so faced mutiny and involuntary involvement in Amerindian wars. In personality, he was more humane and less authoritarian than the stormy Knight of Malta, but they shared an inability to break out of their cultural lexicons. Both leaders (and Roberval as well) were aristocrats who expected others to accommodate to them, not the reverse. None was capable of serious negotiation or accommodation with Amerindians, despite avowed good

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intentions. In this they were far from unique; their failings were those of Europeans of their age. Catherine de Medici had her own thoughts on the subject, which she expressed in a letter to the French ambassador in Madrid in 1567: 'in these discoveries and conquests it is not sufficient for a captain to be an experienced soldier and good sailor, because beyond that it is necessary to be politically wise and knowledgeable in many things in order to found and build a new province and a totally new world' (Gaffarel 1878, 364-5; my translation). She obviously believed that faulty leadership was at the root of French colonial problems. A seventeenth-century English assessment was predictably harsher. It claimed the disasters were due to the French being 'more in love with glorie then with vertue' and 'alwaies subject to divisions amongst themselves,' as well as being lazy and unwilling to work (Alexander [1624] 1873, 2O3)- Nicolas Le Challeux, a carpenter who had been with the colonists, uttered what could well have been the last word on the affair: 'Qui veut aller a la Floride, / Qu'il y aille j'y ay este' ('Whoever wants to go to Florida let him go; / I have been there'; Le Challeux 1579, verso of title page). Just as the Villegaignon episode spurred the Portuguese to validate their territorial claims by intensifying colonization in Brazil, so in Florida the Spaniards reacted by establishing the first permanent European colony north of Mexico - San Augustin, in 1565. Other Ribault-Laudonniere legacies were the introduction of sassafras to European medicine, and the drawings of Le Moyne de Morgues, our earliest systematic portrayal of a North American people. Incidentally, the colonists had produced at least eight babies at Fort Caroline, who were thus the first known children of European parentage to be born in what is now the United States (Bennett 1964, 21). In Canada, that event had occurred some 500 years earlier in the Norse settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows. Postscript and New Beginning at Maragnan, 1612-1615 France's final attempt at realizing its colonial dream in Brazil took place on an island called Maragnan in the mouth of the Amazon. It illustrated a new stage in French imperial policy: only Roman Catholic missionaries were allowed in the colonies. Despite its short life, the colony had enduring consequences, as the Fort Saint Louis of the French grew into today's city of San Luiz do Maranhao. Although the project's principal backer, Daniel de la Tousche, Sieur de La Ravardiere, was a Huguenot, its leader, Chevalier Francois de

1O4 Olive Patricia Dickason

Razilly (1578-1622), was a Catholic. The project reflected the Catholic victory in the civil wars, which had ended more than a decade earlier. In obtaining royal approval, La Ravardiere and Razilly agreed to bring out four Capuchins (a branch of the Franciscans) as missionaries; if the idea of a Huguenot refuge was present, it is not mentioned in surviving documentation. Claude d'Abbeville and Yves d'Evreux, two of the Capuchins, wrote accounts that today are the project's main claim to fame (Claude d'Abbeville 16143; Yves d'Evreux 1615). At the time, however, the mission aroused intense public interest owing to a visit, to Paris by a group of the Maragnan Tupinamba. The visit, organized by Razilly and stage-managed by Pere Claude, turned into something of a triumphal entry. By this time, the French were beginning to have some success in their colonial endeavours. Since 1603 they had had a foothold in Acadia, still tentative, but destined to endure; and they had a more solidly based establishment at Quebec, founded in 1608. While this was encouraging, France had not forgotten its claims to Brazil and the century of French activity along its coasts. Maragnan was particularly attractive because of the beauty of its location and agrceableness of its climate. Also, the French still had a strong trading presence there, and the Tupinamba of the region were all the more firm in their alliance because of steadily increasing pressures from Portuguese colonization. In fact, most of the Tupinamba at Maragnan were refugees from areas where Portuguese settlers had taken over.'4 This may have contributed to their reputation in certain quarters for being the most political of Brazilian Amerindians (Mauro 1961, 163). Upon arrival, Razilly was careful to send advance notice to the French allies, in order to ensure a welcome. When they met, he told the Tupinamba that the French wanted trade to continue and would provide protection if they recognized the French king as their monarch. He hoped that they would become Christian, which the Tupi, without realizing what that would entail, said they were content to do. As negotiations proceeded, Razilly made more demands: the Tupi were to give up cannibalism, otherwise the French would not stay; he would tolerate long hair, but not the custom of piercing lips and other parts of the face to insert stones or other objects. He also expected the Tupi to accept French law, which he characterized as 'very gentle and reasonable.' All of this was repeated later when a cross of possession was erected. Pere Claude happily reported that this was the birth of the Catholic Church in Brazil, thus overlooking the Portuguese Jesuits who had been in the

The Sixteenth-Century French Vision of Empire 105 country for something like three-quarters of a century (Claude d'Abbeville 16143, 72-3, 88V, 129V). The Tupinamba were understandably puzzled at this dramatic change in their relations with their allies, but they appear to have made efforts to cooperate, faced as they were with the necessity of making the best of a bad situation. The French, for their part, having made the switch from the give-and-take of a purely trading relationship to the assertiveness of colonial domination, quickly discovered that they did not have enough men in the field for the new task, and those they did have were not always well provided for (Claude d'Abbeville i6i4a, 93V). Realizing that a plea for help would be more effective if it came from the Tupinamba rather than from himself, Razilly persuaded six of the Natives to go to France to lay the colony's case before the king. As Le Mercure Franfois reported in Paris, the Tupinamba had come to ask that the French send them missionaries, soldiers, and artisans, besides merchandise for trade (Mercure Franfois 1617, 3: 164 ff.). According to Pere Claude, they wanted no other sovereign than the 'Roy de Lys,' the French king (Claude d'Abbeville i6i4a, preface, 10). The doctrine of consent, so noticeably absent on the St Lawrence, was in the forefront here. From the moment the delegation landed at Havre-de-Grace, public interest was high. A month later, when they made their triumphal entry into Paris, dressed in a modified version of their Native fashion (feathers had been added at strategic places) and shaking maracas, they were escorted by twenty-six Capuchins. The crowds were so great that the monks had to retreat with their charges into their convent, and the king had to send guards for protection. Pere Claude was enchanted. 'Who would have thought,' he mused, 'that Paris, used to the strange and the exotic, would go so wild over these Indians?' (Claude d'Abbeville i6i4a, 339v-4Or). When they were presented at court, the king was pleased to agree publicly to send more Capuchins, as well as soldiers, to Maragnan (MercureFranfois 1617, 3: 174). The ceremonies did not end there. The next event was the baptism of the Brazilians in the church of the Capuchins, which was specially decorated for the occasion. By this time, only three of the Tupinamba were still alive; the others had succumbed under the pressures of an unaccustomed lifestyle. The survivors were decked out in white taffeta for the service, which was conducted by the Bishop of Paris with the king and queen standing in as godparents. In the concluding procession, the Brazilians carried lilies and wore hats decorated with feathers. Cloistered

106 Olive Patricia Dickason

nuns were allowed to see them (Mercure Francois 1617, 3: 164-5; Claude d'Abbeville i6i4a, 367^-74'). While the event was spectacularly successful, it was also a swan song: it did not save the colony. After a series of bungles, the alarmed Portuguese managed to pull themselves together and chase the French out of Maragnan. As at Guanabara Bay and in Florida, there were complaints that France had let the colony down in its hour of need. Conclusion The failures recounted in this essay gave rise to some serious soulsearching on techniques of colonization. The French, signally adept at trading in the New World, had not at first been able to transfer that success to planting settlements. It had become obvious that while trading and colonization might be linked, fundamentally they were separate enterprises with distinct (and not always compatible) requirements. It was generally agreed that leadership had failed in the attempts at colonization; among other lapses, it had not concentrated sufficiently on establishing a secure subsistence base. For all the detailed and costly preparations in the project of Cartier and Roberval, the rigours of the northern climate had not been provided for, nor was a working relationship with Amerindians developed. In the case of Villegaignon, religious dissension had proved fatal; Laudonniere had fallen out with Amerindian allies; and by the time of the Razilly-La Ravardiere attempt, the Portuguese were too well established. In lands France would have preferred to colonize, imperial rivals gave the coup de grace to already faltering attempts; in Canada, northern conditions discouraged colonial rivalry, but presented challenges that at first overwhelmed inadequate (or inappropriate) preparations and inexperience. In no case had the colonists behaved wisely towards the Native peoples. Montchrestien, for one, was strong on this point: the Amerindians, he said, had demonstrated their willingness to cooperate; it was up to the French to deal with them fairly, and not try to tyrannize them (Montchrestien 1615, 218). Others, such as Razilly, did not accord so much importance to Amerindians, and thought that successful colonization depended rather upon cohesive leadership backed by sufficient military and naval force ([Razilly] 1653, 374-83, 453-64). Cooperation with Amerindians and even some adaptation to their ways had been quickly accepted in trade, and would be more slowly accepted in warfare; but in the serious matter of imperial expansion, such flexibility was

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seen at first as endangering the fundamentals of la mission civilisatrice. When this inflexible approach turned out to be unworkable, compromises crept into colonial procedures, particularly at the local level. Ironically, it was in the northern part of the Americas, which the French found the least attractive for colonization, where they had their first successes. In Acadia and New France, local colonial officials developed the practice of de facto arrangements with their Amerindian allies that in effect accorded them special status as well protection for their village lands and hunting grounds. This was done apart from official imperial policy. But, as Razilly had indicated at Maragnan, the ultimate goal of establishing a new France overseas remained. Once a colony was secure, the need for compromise would diminish and disappear as Amerindians recognized the superiority of French ways and became Frenchmen.15 The idea that they would want to remain themselves, and work out their destinies in their own way, was not taken seriously. Indeed, the French were surprised when Amerindians resisted the vision of one world in the French model. The defeat of New France in 1760 put an end to la mission civilisatrice in Canada, at least in French terms, but it did not resolve the basic problem with that approach. Self-determination, however conceived, remains as problematic today as it was when the French Empire was being formed. NOTES The research and preparation of this paper was assisted by a Rockefeller Fellowship at the Newberry Library, Chicago. The paper extends and develops material from Olive Patricia Dickason, The Myth of the Savage and the Beginnings of French Colonialism in the Americas (1984). 1 The Algiers colony was the result of the initiative of two Marseilles merchants (Gaffarel 1899, 11). For the difficulties of the French, as well as those of the English, in establishing colonies, see Quinn 1979, 5: xviii-xix. While the Spanish planted colonies with relative ease in the Caribbean as well as in Central and South America, in North America they too found it difficult, a situation about which there have been many theories but no convincing arguments. The Spanish encomienda never became an institution north of the Rio Grande. 2 For a latter-day argument supporting this doctrine, see Varnhagen 1858, 56; Varnhagen held that the peoples occupying Brazil when Europeans arrived

io8 Olive Patricia Dickason were mobile invaders, and so were not true proprietors of the soil. Besides, he wrote, they were 'in a pitiable social state,' incapable of civilizing themselves. 3 On the legal theories behind that wording, see Green and Dickason 1989, 143-59,221. 4 This was one of the 'strange customs' reported from both North and South America; Villegaignon's people experienced it in Brazil. Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512) wrote of South Americans, 'What greater wonder can I tell you than that they thought themselves fortunate when, in passing a river, they could carry us on their backs?' (Vespucci 1894, 16). In the Caribbean, Caribs swam out to ships and carried the visitors ashore on their backs (Gullick 1985, 40; Gaffarel 1892, 2: 341). 5 Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, Departement de Manuscrits, Fonds Francais, Ms. 15452, 157, Andre Thevet, 'Le Grand Insulaire et Pilotage,' 1586[?]. 6 Cartier 1993, 108. According to a Spanish account, the Stadaconans killed more than thirty-five of Carder's men (166). 7 For a Spanish report that Cartier had returned 'very rich,' see Cartier 1993, Appendix 17, 'Examination of Newfoundland sailors regarding Carder,' 23 September 1542 (163). 8 Janet Whatley has commented that while Villegaignon was probably sincere in his desire to establish a haven where Catholics and Protestants could live in peace, he does not appear to have been prepared for emerging doctrinal restrictions, particularly those of the Calvinists, nor for the political risks that even tolerance of their cause would entail; see her translation of Jean de Lery (Lery [1578] 1990); see also Reverdin 1957. 9 See, for example, Gaffarel 1878, 294-9. Villegaignon had received a cold reception at the French court, to the point of being shunned, so it was probably beyond his power to aid the colony (Heulhard 1897, 184-8). 10 Lery [1580] 1972, 14, my translation; Barre 1557, 23. When Villegaignon returned to France in 1559, he took some fifty Amerindians with him, men, women, and children, whom he distributed as gifts among friends and supporters. Two of these Amerindians, both in their teens at the time, were reported to have survived for about eight years in France (Haton [1601] 1857, 1:40). 11 On the other side of the picture, the prominent Huguenot historian, Henri Lancelot-Voisin, Sieur de La Popeliniere, in his survey of imperial history, Lea Trois Mondes (1582), did not mention the Villegaignon episode at all. He did report on the Ribault-Laudonniere attempt, but only on its demise in 1565 and Dominique de Gourgues's revenge (La Popeliniere 1582, Bk. 2: 2640). For an examination of some of the consequences of the Florida enter-

The Sixteenth-Century French Vision of Empire 109 prise, including Gourgues's personal expedition of reprisal, see Lestringant 1990, 149-202. 12 Jesuit Pierre Biard (i56v?-i622) remarked of the Mi'kmaq of Acadia that 'they think they are better, more valiant and more ingenious than the French; and, what is more difficult to believe, richer than we are.' The Mi'kmaq found the French to be thieves and deceivers who were envious and, worst of all, lacking in generosity (Jesuit Relations [1610-1791] 1896-1901 1: 173)13 La Popeliniere, for one, reported that this was the case (1582, Bk. 2, 3OV). The Spanish leader, Pedro Menendez de Aviles (1519-74), had an Amerindian wife who apparently had kinship connections locally. 14 The extent of these Native movements could be astonishing. Late in the sixteenth century, one group of Atlantic Coast Tupi migrated across Brazil to the Andes and back to the mouth of the Amazon during only two generations, a distance of 3,000 miles (Hemming 1978, 49-50). There appears to have been a strong mystical element in these migrations, a search for a promised land where death was unknown; see Metraux 1928, 290-4. 15 For an examination of how some of these problems were worked out in New France, see Jaenen 1976.

The Mentality of the Men behind Sixteenth-Century Spanish Voyages to Terranova Selma Huxley Barkham

When talking about the contact period of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, it is a relief to turn from discussion of the mentality of the conquistadores and the merchants who fitted out voyages to the Caribbean and Central America and to concentrate, instead, on the outlook of Renaissance men from the Iberian Peninsula who promoted and underwrote voyages to the northern part of the New World. It would be wrong to imply that the men who organized voyages to Central America were entirely different from those who were sailing mainly to the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador, because some of these merchants, particularly the Basque ones, played a double role; they had a deep interest not only in the fish and furs of the north, but also in the gold and exotic produce they had found in warmer climates. However, it must be stressed that, unlike the motives that inspired many of the conquistadores in the south, for the majority of sixteenth-century merchant mariners who made a good living from northern fishing voyages, any form of year-round settlement or conquest in the New World was of no interest. All those merchants required was a profitable return on their initial investment in ships and provisions. Thus, though in both Central and South America Basques can clearly not be exonerated from having participated in some of the unpleasant excesses of the Conquest, on the southern shores of Labrador events took a very different turn. Even though there may well have been as many as two thousand men using harbours every year along the Strait of Belle Isle during the second half of the sixteenth century, it would seem that because contact was mainly ship-based there was a minimum of negative interaction between Basque fishermen and Innu (Montagnais) hunters. According to Lope de Isasti, the Basques knew the Innu as both 'Montaneses'

The Men behind the Spanish Voyages to Terranova


(mountain people) and 'Canaleses' (people of the channel of Grand Bay, that is, the Strait of Belle Isle) (Isasti 1850, 150, 154). There was no encroachment on the nomadic lifestyle of the Innu, but the exchange of goods during the annual fishing season was mutually useful to the Basques and to the 'Yndios,' who liked to acquire anything made of iron, such as axes and knives, and to eat and drink with the fishermen aboard their ships (Biggar, ed. 1930, 453, 462). Unfortunately this peaceful contact between Innu and Basques in Labrador was not often mirrored by the contact between Basques and the 'Eskimaos' who came down from the northeast and with whom there were frequent hostilities; the history of contact between these two groups 'is one of bloodshed and treachery on both sides,' and was remedied only after the arrival of Moravian missionaries in 1764 (Lysaght 1971, 83, 181).' But as far as the Innu were concerned, there are few other regions of North America apart from Southern Labrador where such a tradition of friendship was maintained between Europeans and a Native population for more than two centuries. The Labrador 'Indians' (the Innu) became close allies of both Spanish and French Basque fishermen. In the 15305, during the first known encounters between Basques and Innu, the fishermen were thoroughly impressed by the intelligence of the 'Yndios,' and the fact that they were managing to survive admirably under difficult climatic conditions. The fishermen were also interested in the way the Innu made their tents and their clothes, as well as in the fact that they were able to communicate in several languages, even though they had no public notaries to draw up their documents, a complaint made by Basques on several occasions.2 What aspects of northern Iberian culture made possible this felicitous interaction? Although the whalers and cod fishermen who met and made friends with the Innu did not live in the same style as the prosperous merchants from inland Spain who helped to finance their voyages, nevertheless the mariners from the Basque coast and the wealthy merchants from the inland cities had many points in common, and were completely up to date on each other's activities. Information about conditions in Labrador found its way rapidly into the merchant houses of Burgos, Vitoria, and Valladolid. Lawsuits about anything that went wrong in Labrador were often brought before the Chancery Court in Valladolid to be discussed by lawyers, and the finer points of 'Terranova' policies were decided upon by insurance brokers. There was no lack of interest in maritime affairs, however comfortably protected the inland merchants were from the physical hazards of the sea.'^

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Some Sources of Evidence for Merchant Thought For the thoughts of these Renaissance men, both mariners and merchants, there is very little direct evidence in the form of letters or journals, but there are glimpses in their account books, in their lawsuits, and in their notarial documents, which are helpful and revealing. Moreover, by taking the advice given in contemporary moral guidebooks, which describe how a good merchant ought to behave, and comparing it with the evidence of how they actually did behave, as reflected in those very detailed account books and lawsuits, we can achieve some idea of whether or not they lived up to their moral precepts. It is well worth reading a little book published in Medina del Campo in 1544 by Doctor Saravia de la Calle Beronense, written for the instruction of merchants. It must have found a receptive audience, as a second edition was printed in 1547. The author clearly knew how difficult it was to achieve the delicate balance between financial and spiritual success: Merchant... if you want to trade, confident in the good intention you have of providing for the community and providing for your household remember you are starting out on a perilous profession, and in order not to fall into any danger you will have to set forth well forewarned ... and, in order for you to be guided through such an intricate labyrinth, make use of this thread, spun by the fingers of very saintly and wise doctors ... which will certainly lead you out of obscure and tortuous turns if you do not let it slip out of your hand, or try to twist it to your own advantage, or pull it ... to make it follow your own avaricious tendencies (La Calle Beronense 1544, xxiiii v —xxv').

He ends by reminding the young merchant that he must deal with his temporal wealth in such a way that he will not lose eternal riches. As we shall see, this is the sort of advice that the majority of our Basque merchants genuinely believed in, and the metaphor that Saravia de la Calle uses, the intricate Labyrinth of Commerce, is one employed again and again by other authors. The wealthier the merchant, the more complicated were the problems of conscience he would have to wrestle with. These Renaissance merchants were part of a tradition very different from the 'look after yourself mentality of many modern businessmen. Like all merchants and mariners, they kept a sharp eye on their profits, but that was not their only goal. However interested in money these Northern Spanish merchants were, they seem to have been almost

The Men behind the Spanish Voyages to Terranova


equally motivated by a sense of service, first to God and then to the king. In wartime, of course, they showed their loyalty to the Crown by providing ships for the Royal Armadas, with an occasional bout of piracy thrown in to discomfort the enemies of 'El Rey, nuestro Senor.' But in daily life they realized that God's service required them above all to be generous, and that they should not ignore the plight of their less fortunate fellow citizens whether in prisons, hospitals, or elsewhere. For instance, in nearly every last will and testament, even those written for dying men on the coast of Labrador, there were clauses asking for some bequest to be left for the ransom of captives in Moorish jails, or to help one of the hospitals in their own towns.4 Apart from bequests in wills and testaments, there were other ways in which merchants and shipowners felt that their profits could be shared. A large majority of the early-sixteenth-century account books that I have so far seen begin with a declaration such as the following (written in Burgos in 1539): 'In the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and of the Virgin, St. Mary, his mother, be all things dedicated to His Holy Service. Amen.'5 Or in some cases one finds a shorter version, such as Diego de Bernuy's: 'Manual of Purchases made in 1546 in which Our Lord shall take part.'*' According to the account books, He did take part; for shipowners, for instance, the normal way of contributing to a church or to a charity was by a donation of at least 2 per cent of the value of the cargo every time a ship came into port. Whether they used a shorter or a longer version of the dedication in their account books, or whether they gave smaller or larger contributions to church funds, a certain sense of reciprocity marked their actions: they gave, but they also received. They always talked about 'La ganancia que Dios nos diere' ('the profits that God shall give us'). For example, when they were starting out on a voyage, however well provisioned and prepared, they were aware that the element of good luck would make or break their fortune, and good luck depended on God's will (with a little extra protection from the saints). Spanish or Basque shipowners would never have called their ships the Pelican, the Red Lion, or the Mary and George, or the Mary Rose, even if those names sometimes possessed a religious connotation. Nearly all Iberian owners called their ships after saints (often the patron saint of the parish church or a local hermitage), if they did not use either the name of Jesus, or the Trinity, or the Three Kings, or the Conception, or the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, and even if they sometimes abbreviated a name such as the Buenaventura (from the official name 'Nuestra Seriora de Buenaven-

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tura-Our Lady of Good Fortune'). Moreover, whenever they could, the Spanish Basques would take a priest with them on a Terranova voyage, so that he could say mass for any of the crews of ships that were in the same harbour. Religion played a vital part in the lives of these seamen, and it had an effect on the way they treated each other in Terranova harbours. That, in turn, affected their behaviour towards the Native people they met in Labrador, initially mainly the Innu. Let me turn now to the hinterland merchants, particularly those from the inland city of Burgos, which is one of the places that had seen the first legal efforts to control the fatal behaviour of the conquistadores towards Native people on the Caribbean islands. The courageous protests of the Dominican fathers had obliged the Crown to attempt to modify abuses through the Laws of Burgos in 1512. Burgos was still at that point one of the places where the peripatetic Spanish court could be found, and for a variety of reasons contained a larger number of wealthy merchants than anywhere else in Spain. Although wealth and power moved eventually to Seville and Madrid, during the first half of the sixteenth century Burgos was not only the epicentre of wealth but a centre of thought, particularly on the subject of ethics and the way people should rule their lives in practice as well as in theory. In Burgos the writings of Erasmus were by no means unknown, and local thought was also finding its way into pungent print, mainly written by priests, but priests who, like Fray Luis de Maluenda, author of Leche tie la Fe (1545), were usually the sons and grandsons of wealthy merchants. Cristobal de Haro and Early Voyages to Canada

The first of two Burgos merchants whose mentalities I want to bring out of semi-oblivion is Cristobal de Haro, mainly because of his enthusiastic contribution to new geographical discoveries, but also because of his sense of dedication to the Emperor Charles v and his sense of responsibility for the men who served under him. He is one of the first Spanish merchants who can be directly linked to early attempts at exploration of the coasts and waters of eastern Canada. The Haro family, though based in Burgos, had business partners or associates in all the large ports of western Europe from Antwerp to Lisbon and Seville. So far, we know very little about that family's activities in Flanders, where many other Burgos merchants had representatives, but we do know that by about 1510 Cristobal de Haro had been sent to Lisbon, where he was involved in ventures connected with the great German financiers, the Welsers

The Men behind the Spanish Voyages to Terranova


and the Fuggers. However, it appears that the most profitable acquaintanceship that Cristobal made in Lisbon was with Fernando de Magallanes - Magellan, as we call him. When Magellan left Portugal for Spain in 1517, it is clear that Cristobal de Haro took a considerable interest in him and in his project. Haro became one of the principal investors, along with the Bishop of Burgos, Juan Rodriguez de Fonseca, in the voyage that set out from Seville in 1519 and made the first circumnavigation of the globe. It was probably thanks to that investment that Charles v appointed Haro as his factor in the House of the Spice Trade, which was set up in Corunna, and that he was thus in charge of dispensing part of the precious cargo of spices that arrived back in Seville in September 1522 from the circumnavigation of Juan Sebastian de Elcano's little ship the Victoria. As Haro appears to have invested more money than anyone else except the Bishop of Burgos in that successful expedition, it is not surprising that the emperor from then on counted on Haro for the organization of other expeditions. In 1523, Haro was already helping with the preparations in Corunna for the next expedition, this time northward from Cuba up the coast of North America as far as Newfoundland (Vigneras 1957). On 23 April of that year, a letter was sent from Charles v in Valladolid to Haro, reiterating that, as an agreement had been made with Esteban Gomez to discover a new way to the Spice Islands via 'Eastern Cathay' (presumably somewhere to the west of the 'New-found-land'), a small ship of fifty tons was being built for this purpose, and Haro was to be responsible for the provisioning. Moreover, because it was the emperor's wish that the departure should take place as soon as possible, Haro was charged to employ himself in that matter 'with much diligence' (Biggar 1913, 154). In fact, the ship was enlarged to seventy-five tons, and Gomez, with his twenty-nine-man crew, did not leave Corunna until September 1524, returning in the autumn of 1525. Yet it was by no means the last time that Haro was encouraged by Charles v to 'employ himself with much diligence.' During Haro's time in charge of the House of the Spice Trade in Corunna, which coincided with the period when the famous cartographer Diego Rivero was living and working in that city, there are indications that Haro became personally interested in the region then known as the land of'los Bacallaos' (the cod fish) (Biggar 1913,169), and he can hardly have avoided seeing the maps of the area that Diego Rivero was drawing. Nor could he have overlooked the 'Indians' that Gomez

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brought back - without permission to do so - from what was probably either the coast of Maine or Nova Scotia. Of the fifty-eight Indians who arrived in Corunna, at least thirty-eight were apparently still living there (or nearby in Betanzos) eight years later in 1533. The emperor was still concerned with the fate of those surviving Indians (whom he had rescued from slavery), and it is probable that Haro also kept up to date with information about their welfare (Vigneras 1957, 197-203). Another seven years went by, and another flurry of interest in northeastern North America can be seen reflected in the letters of the emperor to Haro. That set of letters (surviving from the years 1540 to 1541) demonstrates the trust in and dependence on Haro that Charles had developed. The letters make it quite clear why the emperor relied on Haro not only as his factor or agent in Corunna but also as an invaluable source of information. Like all international merchants, Haro had his agents and associates in various European ports, and in 1540, when persistent rumours of the preparations for Carticr and Roberval's expeditions to Canada were beginning to filter down to Spain, the emperor seems to have thought that Haro would be able to supply more detailed knowledge of French plans than would his own ambassador to France (Biggar 1930, 116). In October 1540 a letter arrived in Burgos from Madrid, asking Haro to organize what was essentially a spying expedition in northern France. Haro's response gave the emperor satisfaction; he had already sent a man called Pedro de Santiago up the coast as far as Rouen to glean all the latest news. During that winter, Haro explains in his letters to Charles that his replies had slowed down because he was unwell; in fact Haro made his will in January. This fascinating correspondence shows that Haro was able to send the emperor much information about Carder's last voyage and Roberval's plans, and he was still writing to the emperor about voyages to Canada and affairs in France in October 1541, only a month before his death (Biggar 1930, 400). Haro's letters also show an obvious concern for Pedro de Santiago, who had been away from Spain for more than three months on each of his fact-finding missions and was now having legal problems because of his absences. In early October, when the money for Santiago's third spying trip had still not arrived from the emperor, Haro himself provided sufficient funds for Santiago's journey as well as enough money to look after Santiago's wife while he was away (Biggar 1930, 397). On Haro's tomb the inscription reads (in substance), 'Here lies the Senor Cristobal de Haro, Factor of His Majesty the Emperor Charles V in the House of the Spice Trade ... Rcgidor of Burgos ... who died in the month of November,

The Men behind the Spanish Voyages to Terranova


1541.' It might seem very inadequate as an epitaph if the remarkable statues of himself and his wife, Catalina de Ayala, kneeling side by side, did not proudly adorn a small Plateresque arch on one side of the nave of the parish church of San Lesmes, with an unostentatious but highly significant coat of arms held up by two cherubs. Because of Haro's very large contribution to Magellan's expedition, Charles v had given permission for Haro to decorate his own coat of arms with a border of Magellan's five ships around the edge and a small central shield with a design that looks like an 'H' for Haro, but is in fact the Pillars of Hercules, depicted against a background of strange animals and plants, some of which are apparently meant to represent spice trees. Catalina de Ayala gave birth to her ninth child soon after Cristobal died, and one can but hope that the emperor treated her and her family with the same generosity that Cristobal showed Pedro de Santiago's wife. In fact, it is unlikely that she suffered from lack of funds: Haro, like Diego de Bernuy - the next Renaissance man on our list - belonged to a group of merchants who were outstandingly wealthy. Bernuy was one of the four richest men in the kingdom. Both families owned country estates close to each other, in Marmellar and Zumel, and one of the few distinguishing features about the sources of their financial success was that whereas the Haros had made their fortune mainly as bankers, dealing in loans and international currency, the Bernuys had founded the beginnings of their fortune almost entirely on woad (Barkham 1992). Diego de Bernuy: The First Known Insurance Broker for Terranova Voyages

Woad is a blue dye that was extracted by a long and complicated process from the woad plant, hatis tinctoria, which was grown most successfully and abundantly in the Provencal region of France near Toulouse and Albi. By the beginning of the sixteenth century, branches of the Bernuy family were comfortably ensconced both in Toulouse and in Burgos, and had a network of agents who dealt with the export of woad particularly to England and Flanders. Soon they were also importing woad from the Azores. Because of the colossal quantity of seaborne merchandise for which the Bernuys were responsible, the family (especially the Burgos branch) became deeply involved in maritime insurance. Thus a Burgos merchant, Diego de Bernuy, became the first man we know of to insure voyages to Canada (Barkham 1980-1, 1992). By 1547, when Bernuy signed the first known insurance policy for a Terranova fishing voyage, the Bernuy family had had at least fifty years'

118 Selma Huxley Barkham

experience in the maritime insurance industry, and they had also developed a number of other financial interests. However, the reason that prompted Bernuy to insure Terranova voyages (barely five years after Carrier's last voyage to Canada) was not that he thought of the new route as an exciting 'window of opportunity' but quite simply because he wanted to do a favour for the French and Spanish Basque shipowners whose masters and crews frequently transported his woad and other merchandise up and down the Atlantic coast, mainly to ports between Flanders and Seville. Because Bernuy's agents knew these mariners, who were engaged both in coastal transport and in long-distance fishing voyages, and they knew the need for insurance on transatlantic voyages, they seem to have persuaded Bernuy to accept the new pioneer Terranova route. In one case, Bernuy says in his account book that he agreed to insure the ship of Martin Perez de Alcarreta because of his friendship for Alcarreta's agent in Irun, Joan Perez de Berrotaran. Indeed, Bernuy actually uses the phrase 'por el amor de el' - for his (i.e., Berrotaran's) sake (Barkham 1994). Many of the voyages that Bernuy insured were not just the simple routes out to Terranova and straight back to the Basque coast. Some were for cargoes of whale oil that were taken directly from Labrador to London; the ship would then return to Bordeaux, San Sebastian, or Pasajes with another cargo. One of the reasons that Basque merchants were able to invest in long complicated voyages and were able to send larger and better ships than other merchants for both cod fishing and whaling in Terranova was because wealthy Burgos merchants were able to make good any losses if a ship went down. The coverage that Bernuy and his fellow underwriters pioneered was useful for nearly half a century, until the effects of a disastrous financial slump in Burgos reduced many of the brokers to bankruptcy. According to contemporary moralists, the profession of insurance broker was considered high on the list of meritorious ways of earning a living. The higher the risk involved, the more a decent profit could be justified. To quote the 1538 Ordinances of the Burgos Consulado: 'Insurance is a very necessary thing so that merchants are preserved from harm and can be durable and permanent in their trade and commerce, and may have a fraternal unity of purpose among each other for the betterment of all' (Garcia de Quevedo 1905, 151). However unfashionable it may be nowadays to accept that the simple tenets of Christianity had such power over men's minds, it is an inescapable fact that the warnings of contemporary moralists were listened to and obeyed by many, even if not all, sixteenth-century businessmen. Although power

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seeking and a desire for upward mobility are often given as the main incentives for merchant behaviour, another motivation cannot be sufficiently stressed: a belief in the moral obligation of the rich to help the poor, or, as can be seen in the actions of Haro and Bernuy, the obligation of the employer to help the people in his service, combined with an overarching sense of the importance of finding a way to be useful to the whole community. Two brief examples illustrate the sort of practical generosity shown by Burgos merchants. The first is a decree that affected all the members of the merchants guild - that on the Feast Day of St Michael, the day that the prior and the consuls of the Consulado were normally elected, the traditional banquet should no longer take place. Instead, the money formerly spent on copious quantities of food for an enormous feast was to be better employed in a charitable way 'in the service of God,' providing food for the poor or the sick (Garcia de Quevedo 1905, 179). In a similarly charitable spirit, Diego de Bernuy announced that he was going to give something important to his city, and he built the largest hospital in Burgos: the Hospital de la Concepcion. The preamble to the official donation began in this way: I, Diego de Bernuy, burgess and Regidor of this City of Burgos, Seigneur of the towns of Benameji and Alcala, considering the great mercies that from the most liberal hand of God I have received, and how abundantly he has shared out His temporal wealth with me through His bounty and kindness without any merit of mine, and knowing that He has done this not in order that I should show off my goods and spend them for my own contentment, but so that I should spend them as a good administrator ...7

And so it behoved him to build the hospital. Long after Diego de Bernuy had died, it was in a corner of that hospital that St Teresa de Jesus and her little band of nuns stayed when they first arrived in Burgos. She said that she had always heard how generous the inhabitants were - but she had never believed their charity would be so great (Teresa de Jesus 1982, 277). Indeed, Burgos had a tremendous reputation not just among nuns and priests but among people such as Jean Alphonse, the pilot for Roberval on the Canadian voyage in 1542, who stated that Burgos was the place where the merchants were more responsible and more loyal than anywhere else in Spain (Alphonse 1559, 14). It little matters whether Alphonse was talking as a Portuguese or as a Frenchman; it is clear that Burgos was respected by seamen and merchants of all nationalities.

12O Selma Huxley Barkham

The Merchant Mariners' Friendship with the Innu

Although Burgos had no close geographic connection to the sea like London or Bordeaux, nor a river connection like the Seine for Paris, the Rhone for Lyons, or the Garonne for Toulouse, nevertheless it was able to call its Chamber of Commerce a 'Consulado del Mar,' and its merchants were constantly aware both of the economic climate on the coast and the changes in the political climate that could result in prolonged embargoes or piracy. Then, as now, maritime disaster could shake the insurance market, but Burgos merchants were not only inspired by profits or depressed by losses. They were also moved by that special Renaissance emotion born of a sharp awareness of newly emerging geography: a sense of being in the forefront of discovery. Brand new place-names were being appended to what appeared, from a European point of view, to be brand new parts of the world. Instead of the traditional destinations for which most shipowners had normally bought insurance, there were suddenly some strange new ports - a 'Grand Bay of Terranova' and harbours called, for instance, 'Los Homos' and 'Buitres,' to name but two of the dozen or more harbours on the Strait of Belle Isle used by Basque fishermen (Barkham 1977). At the same time that this new information was being brought back across the Atlantic, and passed on through the fishermen's agents on the coast to merchants in Burgos, so also the Native people who lived near the 'channel of Grand Bay,' and who were becoming quite accustomed to the yearly visitors from across the sea, passed on new information, and sometimes unusual goods, to tribes who were living far from the sea. Of course by the 15605 Terranova was no longer a new destination. A second generation of merchants had become interested in the Terranova run. A great deal more was known about conditions on the western side of the Atlantic, and very large amounts of money were being made from what had become an important whale-oil industry in Labrador. Soon after the death of Diego de Bernuy, during the winter season of 1565-6 another regidor of Burgos, Antonio de Salazar and his partner, Geronimo de Salamanca Santa Cruz, sent more than 10,000 ducats' worth of whale oil up to Antwerp in four Basque ships. Meanwhile men such as Juan de la Salde, the treasurer of Burgos, who owned several large ships, sent some of them off whaling in Labrador before dispatching them south to take part in the Carrera de las Indias, the West Indies run (Barkham 1994, 547). More than thirty years had gone by since the first written reports had been brought back about the people who lived in that part of Terranova

The Men behind the Spanish Voyages to Terranova 121

where the whale oil came from (Grand Bay). However it was not until 1571, when Esteban de Garibay's Compendia Historial was printed in Antwerp, that a description was published in Spanish that mentioned the Labrador whaling industry or the people who lived in Labrador. Though contemporary descriptions of conditions in Labrador are few, any references we have found clearly emphasize the peaceful coexistence between Basques and Innu. Between 1537, when Robert Lefant first met and talked with the Innu on the St Paul River estuary, and 1625, when Lope de Isasti described the Innu as being both 'Mountain people' and 'People of the Canal,' there seems to have been extraordinary harmony between fishermen and 'Yndios,' a harmony that seems to have extended happily into the eighteenth century, when a Basque family from Bayonne, the Berhouagues, lived with a large encampment of Innu alongside their house at Brador. So far, the only known exception to what appears to have been a policy of intelligent friendship - and non-interference occurred when a merchant mariner, Captain Francisco de Sorarte, took an Innu family back to Deva in the mid-seventeenth century (Esnaola 1927, 81-4). That was the first time we know of in more than a century of cultural interchange that an active effort was made by Spanish Basques to convert any Innu. If there had been any other attempts at conversion before 1625, it is almost certain that Lope de Isasti (a priest living in Lezo on the harbour of Pasajes, where ships returning from Terranova were constantly being moored) would have known about potential missionary activity and would have expressed an opinion on the subject. Instead, he simply wrote about the way the Montaneses helped the fishermen who were curing and drying fish on the beaches in return for some ship's biscuit and cider (Isasti 1850, 154) .8 This is exactly the same sort of friendly interchange that Robert Lefant and Clemente de Odeliza had reported when they were describing conditions in the Strait of Belle Isle in 1542 (Biggar 1930, 453, 462). The philosophy of 'do as you would be done by' appears to have applied equally to the way both Native inhabitants and Basque fishermen treated each other. For instance, the Innu always came to warn the Basques if there was any danger of impending attack by the 'Eskimaos.' This reciprocal action continued into the eighteenth century, constituting two hundred years of cordial relations. Although there certainly were occasional disagreements between Basques in Labrador about who was the rightful owner of a mislaid shallop or a dead whale, there seem to have been relatively few disturbing disputes. Basque fishermen were not all angels, any more than all Bur-

122 Selma Huxley Barkham

gos merchants were saints, but when a modus vivendi broke down, problems were almost always reflected in a lawsuit, and the legal process would appear to have been remarkably civilized. Because it was important to be in a happy ship, Basque merchant mariners nearly always took several members of their own family with them as part of the crew, and there is only one known example of a mutiny. In that case, a crew refused to stay on for the winter whaling season because of a disastrous event during the previous winter of 1576-7: an unusually early onset of winter conditions caught several ships in ice in Labrador harbours, and a great many wintering fishermen died as a result. However, under normal circumstances the crews were always keen to join Terranova voyages, which would appear to be another reason for supposing that the long periods spent in Terranova were not unpleasant. As Montaigne said of the need for harmony on shipboard, 'Marchants that travell by sea, have reason to take heede, that those which goe in the same ship, be not dissolute, blasphemers, and wicked, judging such companie unfortunate' (Montaigne 1603, Bk. 1, 118). Montaigne would certainly have known about conditions on transatlantic crossings. Basque mariners took over to Terranova the ship that had been christened byMontaigne's sister-in-law, Seraine d'Esteve (Bernard 1968, 737). Indeed, Montaigne had rather more in common with northern Spanish merchants and mariners than his alliance with a family that owned codfishing and whaling ships. Montaigne's mother, Antoinette Lopez de Villanova or Villeneuve, was from a Spanish Converso Jewish family quite similar to that of the Bernuys (who were also of Jewish origin), while his father came from a long line of Bordeaux merchants. If I may treat Montaigne as an honorary Spanish merchant, I shall end on a comparison between his attitude to the people so often called 'savages,' and those of other Renaissance men, such as Robert Lefant and Clemente de Odeliza, who had often met and talked with the Montaneses in Labrador. After discussing the opinions expressed by the 'Indians' that Montaigne had met (probably Tupinambas in Rouen or Bordeaux), he said he was grieved that by prying so narrowly into their faults 'we are so blinded in ours.' Then, with his usual sense of humour, he opined that their arguments were very sensible in spite of the fact that they wore 'no kinde of breeches or hosen' (Montaigne 1603, Bk. i, 104, 107). His statements are almost identical to those of Clemente dc Odeliza, who was most impressed by the fact that the Montaneses were very intelligent and resourceful ... 'for men dressed in skins' (Biggar 1930, 462-3). Four centuries ago, the merchant mariners of northern Spain and southwestern France were able to comment positively on the

The Men behind the Spanish Voyages to Terranova 123

3 Innu tents beside a Basque dwelling, Strait of Belle Isle. Detail from 'Carte paticuliere depuis la riviere des Esquimaux jusqu'a la pointe Belsamon dans le golfe de St Laurent a 50° '/> du nord.' France, Service Historique, de 1'Armee de Terre (cote 7 b 67).

remarkable qualities of the men they had met on the south coast of Labrador. Because those merchant mariners considered generosity and a sense of service to be prime virtues, the same virtues were recognized in the Innu - for instance, in the way the Innu shared food or collaborated in some of the daily tasks of the Basque fishermen. The remarkable harmony that still existed in the first half of the eighteenth century between Innu hunters and Labrador fishermen - who were still often, though not exclusively, Basque - is beautifully depicted on the map from the Ministere de la Guerre in Paris, showing the northwest corner of the Strait of Belle Isle (figure 3). On that map, two lines of large Innu tents can be seen, labelled 'Cabanes des Sauvages.' They look considerably more impressive than the little house of M. de Courte-

124 Selma Huxley Barkham

manche, the stepfather of Francois Martel de Berhouague (a Basque from a Bayonne family). That the Innu were living peacefully side-byside with a small group of Europeans could not be more evident. It is most unfortunate that there is no parallel for this eighteenthcentury map to illustrate life in the twentieth century. The combination of mining, hydroelectric development, low-level flying, and the invasion of Innu hunting grounds by roads and 'tourist' facilities has made a congenial sharing of land and resources well-nigh impossible. Unless there is a change in the mentality of the modern 'invaders,' the future for the Innu looks bleak and desolate. One cannot help wishing that there were more people nowadays with the generous mentality of the early Basque merchant mariners in Labrador. NOTES 1 'There is certainly no question that the Inuits' initial response to strangers was immediate open attack or deadly ambush,' says Renee Fossett. 'The Inuit settled into peaceful relations with strangers only after they were convinced that they had more to gain economically by peaceful trade and welfare than they had by snatch and grab tactics (personal communication).' See Fossett 2OO1. 2 Giving evidence about a last testament written in Carrol Cove on 24 December 1584, Domingo de Miranda explained that the will was written by the ship's surgeon, Joan de Arriaga, because 'neither in the said ship nor in the said harbour there was not any Royal Notary ... nor are there any in the Province of Terranova because it is a land belonging to Savages' ([Barkham] Huxley 1987, 117). 3 The Burgos merchants formed what they called the 'Consulado del Mar.' For a catalogue of their archives see Pedraza Prades and Ballesteros Caballero 1990. 4 See the last will of J.M. de Larnime, Archive Historico de Protocolos de Guipuzcoa, S.S. 1803, ff. 38-40*. 5 Burgos, Archive del Consulado de Burgos, Legajo 3, frontispiece. 6 Burgos, Archive del Consulado de Burgos, Legajo 4, frontispiece. 7 Archive Municipal de Burgos, No. 705 - H.C., 8 December 1561, my translation. 8 Writing in about 1625, Isasti actually says that the Innu would not have known what a priest was. This is surprising, as in the mid-sixteenth century several priests are known to have been in Labrador as chaplains on whaling vessels (Isasti 1850, 164).

Relocating Terra Firma: William Vaughan's Newfoundland Anne Lake Prescott

For the past few decades, scholars have been deducing from early modern texts the cultural myths sustaining or reflecting early modern exploration and colonization.1 In much of this mythology the western hemisphere is a transplanted Eden and a female body. Michael Drayton, for example, calls Virginia 'earth's only paradise,' even as he mentions, perhaps with irony, the English cannon roaring offshore; Walter Ralegh, notoriously, declares that Guiana 'hath yet her maidenhead.' For Robert Hayman, to whom Francis Drake once gave an orange when the future governor of the Harbour Grace plantation was a boy in Devonshire, Newfoundland is a scruffy wench who, with good husbandry and terraforming, might be made comely.* Richard Whitbourne's A discourse and discovery of New-found-land (1620) is more gallant: Newfoundland is our sweet 'Sister-land1 who 'lies, as it were, with open armes towards England, offering it selfe to be imbraced, and inhabited by us' (Cell 1982, 165, i l l ) . Such myths read America in terms of a familiar sexual relation, but also in terms of ancient European or biblical places of beauty and safety, so that westward sailing Europeans could find themselves, conceptually arid what one might call geomythically, going east. The process, if not exactly a decentring, suggests a more paradoxical orientation in time and space than we sometimes allow. In this essay I will look at such acrobatics of the imagination in the works of one would-be colonizer, the poet and essayist William Vaughan, who early in the seventeenth century founded a settlement in Whitbourne's 'Sister-land' (favoured, however, with few profitable embracings) .3 His version of America is related to those of Drayton, Ralegh, and others, but it bears his own stamp: largely unexcited by

126 Anne Lake Prescott

Newfoundland as an inviting female body, his heart was fired by the thought of British investors and settlers in Newfoundland as new Argonauts. Vaughan's writings express multiple perspectives, if from a vantage point still centred in Britain, making a knot of thoughts on fiction and actuality, east and west, there and here, then and now. Psychologically, Newfoundland clearly decentred Vaughan's imagination, extending his desire and mental sight over waters he probably never crossed himself but that were emotionally significant to him, appealing to his poetic fancy quite as much as to his economic and national interests. Vaughan's writings demonstrate how intricate was the tangle of literary fantasy and economic desire that Canada could elicit in Old World minds. The tangle is both temporal and spatial. In Vaughan's mind, settling Newfoundland is a re-enactment of antiquity: as Jason once sought the golden fleece in Colchis, east of the Black Sea in what is now Georgia, so brave modern Britons could seek a golden land to the west. The discovery of America is an innovation, but reaching and exploiting it is also a recovery, aversion of Renaissance imitatio and recuperation, even if what is recovered is, in part of Vaughan's mind, not romantically mythological but an early example of trailblazing commercial adventure. (Another advantage of this particular myth was its aid in subtly redefining invasion and colonization as the taking back of goods wrongly held; Jason's demand had been, after all, that a fleece from a flying Greek ram, or at least one that had taken off from Greece carrying two Greeks, be handed over to a Greek hero.) For Vaughan, moreover, Newfoundland offers an opportunity to name a new world literally in terms of the old; for this colonist was selfconsciously a Welsh patriot who, although he never quite spells this out, seems to have thought of Newfoundland as providing a chance to expand the Cymric people further west, almost like another Brute with new Trojans. Domestically, Vaughan's outlook was culturally and politically decentred, even marginalized: although a gentleman, he had lived in a society that enjoyed anti-Welsh jokes, and his was a conquered people. The point needs stressing. When trying to avoid the temptation so often shown by Europeans and their descendants to generalize about New World 'Indians' as though there were no differences among Native peoples, it is all too easy, when the scholarly perspective glass is reversed, to generalize about 'European' colonists and explorers. Vaughan reads himself and his settlement-Cambriola- as Welsh; even when he praises the Stuarts' United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, he has a strikingly strong ethnic consciousness and superimposes on his

William Vaughan's Newfoundland


part of Newfoundland not a little bit of England but a little bit of Wales. There is, however, another political perspective to note: when Vaughan publicizes Newfoundland by treating it as a new Colchis, land of the golden fleece and destination of Jason's heroic Argonauts, he appropriates for Great Britain, and not just for Wales, imagery already exploited by the Hapsburgs. As heirs of the Burgundian dukes, who founded the chivalric Order of the Golden Fleece, Charles v and his successors had called themselves newjasons who could send forth new Argosies to find the New World gold that they claimed was rightly theirs as rulers of a westward moving imperium inherited from Troy and Rome (M. Tanner 1993). Vaughan, too, transports Colchis beyond the Pillars of Hercules, but he also moves it well to the north of Spanish mines in the New World and thus implicitly transfers a set of myths and claims from the Hapsburgs to the Stuarts. Just as Francis Drake had diverted Spanish gold to English purses, Vaughan redirects chivalric and imperial myths long cherished in Burgundy, the Holy Roman Empire, and Spain. Vaughan was not alone in reading the New World in terms of older books. As Anthony Grafton, among others, has demonstrated, Europeans experienced the New World not only through a grid of cultural assumptions but through familiar texts (Grafton, Shelford, and Siraisi 1992). But Vaughan's own geoliterary translation of a founding European myth is not just fancy allegorical drapery over ordinary woods, rocks, and sea. For him, the myth is really history: he reads the Argosy euhemeristically, as a veiled account of heroic Greek efforts to open up new trade routes. Vaughan allegorizes his own historical moment by attaching it to a myth that he reads as allegorizing an older but analogous historical moment. Jason was an earlier William Vaughan, not a fantasized and fantasizing romantic. As I will show, Vaughan in fact goes out of his way to define his settlement as a non-Utopia, a non-Chimera. Reimagining for Newfoundland a famous ancient voyage, he simultaneously claims that the New World wilderness is real estate in every sense: its value lies precisely in its solidity compared to courtly fantasy, poetic fictions, philosophical fancies, pipe dreams. Why settle for a feigned Utopia if you can settle in Canada? Fantasy is a problematic and dangerous part of the mind, apt to delude the commonwealth and distract the soul. Newfoundland is stable and offers room for Britain's excess population, trees to make up for the deforestations Vaughan laments, and substantial profits from fish. May the flighty gentlemen of Britain take note and channel their energies towards a terra nova that is terra firma. The paradox is worth emphasis because of its relevance to

128 Anne Lake Prescott

our own efforts to understand how early modern colonizers could imagine their enterprises: for Vaughan, British hopes for Newfoundland centre on what feels firm, whereas life on his side of the ocean is too often beset by illusion. It may be wise to remember this (illusory) conviction that life in Canada would be somehow solider than in Britain, even if also somehow glamorously golden and mythic, for we are seldom used to thinking of reality as an escape from fantasy, and those studying European explorers often emphasize the role in their imaginations of marvels and dreams. Some facts: born in 1577 to a family with aristocratic ties (his older brother was made Earl of Carbery and he himself was eventually knighted), Vaughan attended Oxford, travelled on the Continent, and developed strong opinions on everything from university tutors to the medicinal value of garlic (Pritchard 1962, 6, 9-11; Cell 1982, 1-59; Vaughan 1630, A5-A8). He began writing poetry early, publishing Latin verses when he was twenty and eventually calling himself 'Orpheus Junior' after the poet who sangjason's Argonauts across the waves. In 1617, soon after the Newfoundland Company was incorporated, he sponsored a settlement on land in the southern part of the territory, not only calling it 'Cambriola' in honour of Wales but putting a further impress on the land, as is the privilege of a founder, by naming parts of it Vaughan's Cove and Golden Grove (for his family's Welsh estate). It may be that Vaughan did not see Newfoundland with his own eyes, although the epigram by Robert Hayman that I quote below, sometimes cited as proof of this, does not quite say that he never went there. But even after the venture failed and the colony was reorganized in 1619, he retained his enthusiasm and continued to publish works supporting the settlement. In the mid-i620s he published two works that are part of a small flurry of texts dealing with Newfoundland. One is Cambrensium Carolda (1625), Latin verses on Charles j's marriage and other topics; it includes a map drawn by John Mason, the Newfoundland Company's second governor and future founder of New Hampshire (figure 4). The other is The Golden Fleece (Vaughan i626a, recycling some of the earlier work), which reports on the benefits to be found in that true Colchis, Newfoundland - a prize to be won with the help of a king and his richer subjects, but with no role in this revised myth for a Medea. Vaughan must have been busy in those years, for he also did an adaptation of Trajano Boccalini's Ragguagli di Parnaso (Vaughan i626b).4 Then, in 1630, he published The Newlanders cure, last in a series of medical texts. By 1641 he was dead.

William Vaughan's Newfoundland


4 William Vaughan's Newfoundland: Captain John Mason's map from Vaughan's Cambrensium Caroleia (1625). Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, STC 24604.

Golden Grove, Colchis, Orpheus: plainly, Vaughan was moved by old stories. On fantasy itself he was divided. He loved poetry and was drawn - despite strong doubts - to such works as More's Utopia and Rabclais's Pantagruel. At the same time, like so many in his culture (not least those affected by the Reformation's preference for the ear over the eye, the Word over icons and images), he was deeply troubled by whatever is cloudy, smoky, flittering upward into the ether from the top part of the brain, where physiologists located the fantasy.•' Despite his self-declared identity as a junior Orpheus, Vaughan's books throughout his career are impatient with the deceptions of the imagination, with slanders, false genealogies, nowhere societies, popish delusions, gunpowder ingenuity, tobacco dreams, love poetry, lying tales.'" As early as his Goldengrove (1600), he had shown this not uncommon bias against the fantastic. He is happy to quote such fictions as Sidney's Arcadia, but when citing More he likes to refer to the 'faigned Utopians,' in one case adding 'But I leave the Utopians to their nullibies [nowheres].' 7 Predictably, he assumes that 'stageplaies are nothing els, but pompes and showes, in

130 Anne Lake Prescott which there is a declining from our [Christian] beleefe,' for 'while we be at the stage, wee are ravished with the love thereof, according to the wise mans wordes: It is a pastime for a foole to do wickedly [Prov. 10.23]'. and so in laughing at filthy things, we sinnc' (Ki). In 1611, he published The spirit of detraction conjured, written after his wife had been killed by a bolt of lightning and in answer to calumniating neighbours who had been whispering against her, passing around fictions, smoke, fantasy, 'vaine rumours' from what Vaughan inventively calls 'bruitish motithes' (Vaughan 1611, f4 v ). In this work, he also reveals his distress with effeminate courtiers who should find something better to do than to sit around gossiping, drinking, indulging in 'idle fits of jollity,' deriving their lineage from Gargantua, telling 'tales of Robinhood,' filling their 'mustie mindes' with smoke, and 'carousing' in what a lovely pun calls their Tobachanales' (4V, A2, Vv2). Other 'phantasticall spirits' (H4) vex him too. Printing has given the devil new weaponry, and while this may be seen at its worst in, say, Aretino and Rabelais, even 'the best of us sometimes hee possesseth, with Chymerizing ploddings, like ayrie castles, and nibles (as a Mouse) on our malignant hearts' (I3 V ). Britain is pestered by new-fangled dress from the 'busie-headed French' (Ni); by lying Catholic stories; by blasphemous magic from the likes of Cornelius Agrippa; by that work of misapplied ingenuity, gunpowder (R2); by Circe-touched monsters of the spirit, Titans, Cyclops; by a tendency towards 'petulance and democraticail loosenesse' (V3); and by far too much talk rather than honest deeds, not least from the 'Utopian Chymerizing Schollers' who should stop interfering in politics (Ss4v). The book ends with a parodic exorcism in which Vaughan 'conjures' the diabolical spirit of Detraction — 'Pantagruell,' as he remarkably calls this 'limmc of that mighty Leviathan' and expels his 'stings, tuskes, clawes, contradictions, carpings, calumnations, and cavillations of savage people, of Aristarches, of Catoes, of Momistes, of Monsters, and Usurpers' in the name of the Holy Trinity (ZZi v -ZZs). No wonder that Newfoundland could seem such a refuge, such an opportunity both for starting over and for reviving lost heroics. Whatever its hyperbole and fanciful gesticulations (stuffed, excessive, bulging, oddly playful in its anger, the long work is a sort of Menippean satire), Detraction conjured gives the impression of a mind genuinely agitated by Britain's social and cultural world and by the human wit's capacity to invent, babble, and hanker after what is unreal. What he says about Newfoundland is not merely promotional reassurance to politically and economically powerful investors or potential investors. Solidity

William Vaughan's Newfoundland


appealed to him intellectually and emotionally, and so Orpheus Junior sings a paradoxical myth of Canadian substantiality, as though this new Colchis were more real than fantasy-haunted Britain. Vaughan's Newfoundland is real, solid, with lots of space, trees, and fish. One can make real and useful maps of it (not the joking kind, Vaughan may have thought, like those printed in the satirist Joseph Hall's Mundus alter et idem, 1605). And it will reward practical action with real profits. Vaughan's colleagues, if less moved than he by the Argonaut myth, adopt some of his attitudes, attitudes all the more touchingin retrospect - when one remembers that the settlements were now in such trouble. In liminary poems before Cambrensium Caroleia, John Guy, the Newfoundland Company's first governor and author of a journal about his experiences in 1612, calls Vaughan a Madoc, after the legendary Welsh traveller to the Americas, and expects 'Terra Nova' to be 'Non ... inferior Colchidi.' In the same group of poems, John Mason says of the Cambriolan Plantation that he thinks Vaughan, this other Orpheus, justified in calling the settlement Colchis: its land and waters will give gold ('Aurum Terra Salumque dabunt'). Such profits were not to be. Hayman penned a consoling epigram encouraging Vaughan to visit Newfoundland: mere 'tradesmen' would have been heartbroken, Yet you proceed with person, purse and penne, Fitly attended with laborious men. Goe on, wise Sir, with your old, bold, brave Nation [i.e., Wales] To yovir new Cambriolls rich Plantation, Let Dolphins dance before you in the floods, And play you, Orpheus Junior, in her woods. (Hayman 1628, Bk. 2, no. 87)

The last lines recall how, says Apollonius of Rhodes in Argonautica i: 573-4, fish sported around the Argo as Orpheus struck his lyre. Vaughan had written a liminary poem for Quodlibets (Hayman 1628, A3V) on how Hayman intends no 'Castles in the aire' but a practical endeavour involving digging the soil, uprooting trees, and showing how to 'cut off suites and strife' in Britain. More than his friends, though, Vaughan stresses what Newfoundland is not at one point Euphrosyne, one of the Graces, is made to say 'Not here do I feign ['fingo'] a Utopia; I avoid the phantasms of Plato; nor do I sing beyond the material, the earthy: "nil praeter materiale cano"' (Vaughan 1625, El). That is why one poem in Cambrensium Caroleia says that transferring criminals to colonies in Newfoundland would usefully

132 Anne Lake Prescott

diminish their number at home, and other lines praise the New World's utilitas, its fish and wood, or speak slightingly of 'Aequivocata scholis' and similar 'Chimeras' (E6-E8, F2). Newfoundland is not only spatially more substantial than school paradoxes and the Chimera; it is also more fully present temporally. In a version of the ubi sunt topos, one of Vaughan's friends, addressing 'Orpheus Junior,' asks 'where are now to be found the Colossus of Phoebus, the great Lighthouse, the temple of Jove? Hardly a trace remains of Troy. And who will show you the first Colchis or the Mausoleum? But happy thou, who offerest Colchis, this Solomon's Ophir, to the king' (H3V-H4). Again, old European and biblical localities are relocated, and resolidified, in time and space. The three parts of Vaughan's Golden Fleece (i626a) recount conversations among such celebrities as the poets Sir Philip Sidney and Edmund Spenser at the court of Apollo, the third part - to which those studying early British colonization might pay more attention - being devoted to Newfoundland. Apollo or no Apollo, Vaughan's sometimes engaging work still shows the author's old distrust of fantasy. Again, Newfoundland is real, material: 'This no Eutopia is, nor Common-wealth / Which Plato faign'd,' he writes the king in a poem reworking one already published in Cambrensium Caroleia, for 'Wee bring Your Kingdomes health / By true Receits.' For good measure, the following poem says it again in Latin: 'Non hie Eutopiam, non hie Phantasma Platonis, / Regi nil pra[e]ter materiale damus' (here is no Eutopia or Platonic phantasm, for we give the king nothing more than matter, substance; Vaughan i626a, a2v-a3). And a wise king, Vaughan has just said, 'will preferre / Of Practick Art before all Dreames, that erre' (a2). A preface complains of life in Britain: idle, fashion-driven, and forgetful of social hierarchy (Canada's wilderness held no egalitarian charms for Vaughan, who liked his universe ranked in comely vertical strata). Vaughan's tripartite tract, he explains, will tell first how 'to remove the Errours of Religion,' next reform 'the Diseases of the Common-wealth,' and last 'discover the certainty of the Golden Fleece, which shall restore us to all worldly Happinesse' (a4 v ). After thus summoning the New World to the rescue and ransom of the Old, Vaughan attacks his detractors as lazy cowards who prefer idle thoughts or sensuous artifice to work and risk. In an energetic mixture of common proverb and Greek mythology, he says to 'the uncharitable Readers or Deriders of our Golden Fleece that they want 'to reape the fruits of all painfull Trades without wetting your Cats feet, though the Fish bee never so dearely prized.' But you

William Vaughan's Newfoundland 133 who repose your chiefest Felicitie in playing on the Violl of Fraud, and in idealizing a painted Strumpet, come not at Colchos, nor presume yee once, more then Tantalus, to touch the Golden Apples of our Hesperides. There lies a Couple of Dragons in the way ... The Place is not for you. They that labour not with sweate, shall not taste of our Sweete ... As a blacke Sheepe among some of you is accounted a perillous beast; no lesse offensive is the grimme Porter of the Golden He. Yea and the Ramme, which beares the precious Fleece [the ocean, I assume], hath Homes more piercing then Pikes to assault the assaylant Lozell. (Vaughan i6s6a, bi) So go ahead and wallow in your bewitched 'Epicurean and Swinish shape.' The epistle ends with a brief metrical lament that Vaughan says the clown Tarlton recited to an unreceptive provincial audience: I liv'd not in that Golden Age, When Jason wonne the Fleece. But now I am on Got[h]ams Stage, Where Fooles doe hisse like Geese. (b2v) The inhabitants of Gotham, famed in legend and jest for nearly preternatural stupidity, are dolts, certainly, but also rustic: unlike the Argonauts they stay blockishly at home. Liminary poems by Vaughan's collaborators in the efforts to settle Newfoundland confirm the text's sustaining myth: 'We need not now complaine for want of Trade,' says John Guy, Sith from the West we golden wares may lade; Which Orpheus shewes in this his Golden Fleece, A Trade more rich, then Jason brought to Greece From Golchos Land. (b3) 'Orpheus,' says Stephen Berrier in a poem comparing Vaughan to Hercules, Now forsaking Easterne Greece, From Westerne Colchos brings the Golden Fleece; Which no Eutopia is, nor Fairy-land, Yet Colchos in Elisian Fields doth stand. If Hercules won 'Hesperian Apples,' this Orpheus greater Gaine doth us allot.

134 Anne Lake Fresco It For which let Paris judge, who now shall have The Golden Apple, which the World doth crave? (bg)

And John Mason reports that his heart leaps to hear praises of 'That hopefull Land, which Winters sixe I tri'd.' Suggesting the somewhat contradictory aims 'of Fame, of quiet Life, or Gaine,' he urges us to ... joyne to seeke this Golden Fleece, The like ne'ere came from Colchis into Greece. Orpheus removes all Errours from the way, And how this Land shall thrive, he doth bewray. (b3v)

Newfoundland, for Mason, is of intense commercial interest and yet satisfyingly nonmonetary in the sense that extracting its wealth does not require an actual exchange of money in the New World itself: 'Thus ships & coine increase, when least we thought, / For Fish and Traines Exchange, and all unbought' (b3v).8 Newfoundland is golden, Colchoid, but in fleecing it we make wealth move in just one direction: out. We are commercial, and poetical; the land is Elysian, and substantial. Much of the discussion in the third part of Golden Fleece is down-toearth in an often imaginative dialogue among such dead notables as John Florio, Edmund Plowden, Francis Drake, Martin Frobisher, and all four patron saints of what Vaughan sees as a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Golden Fleece is, after all, in part a political investment brochure. Colonizing the new Colchis will, Orpheus Junior and his friends tell members of Apollo's court, 'restore' Britain to health, a useful reminder that some early colonizing derived not from tumescent national pride but rather from a nervous conviction that a troubled and enervated nation had gone downhill. Settlements will revive northern Europe's recently tattered trade, relieve Britain's wretched poverty, provide fresh wood to a nation that has improvidently exhausted its own supply, promote charity by generating wealth that might be distributed to needy Christians, and lighten the Norman yoke of primogeniture (Bbl>3; Vaughan was a younger son and not alone in his anger). True, there are pirates and interlopers, which is why Orpheus Junior wants support from the government. And, yes, the New World has 'savages,' 'savages' with whom he mentions that there is barter - in other words, a real economic relationship that Vaughan's New World myth of unbought bounty glides past (Ddd4v-Eeei). But those 'rude Nations' may be made civilized and, of course, brought to understand the Gos-

William Vaughan's Newfoundland 135 pel. It is Sir Ferdinando Gorges whom Vaughan imagines saying this about New England, though, Orpheus Junior himself pays much more attention to the way sending his countrymen to Newfoundland might influence Britain than to what the British are to do with anybody already living or hunting there. The area's indigenous peoples (who did not in any case inhabit his own particular lands) seem not to interest him much, and in this he is quite unlike Thomas Hariot, say, examining and quoting the inhabitants of what we now call Virginia, or Richard Whitbourne, whose A discourse and discovery of New-found-land (1620) describes the Beothuk. Rather, Vaughan seems pleasurably moved by the thought that all humanity is descended from immigrants, divided from each other by God when he confounded our languages at Babel so that 'the glory of his power might be noised in all Regions, and the sound of his Name, throughout all Nations. This made Saturne to plant in Italy. This made Hercules to travell to the Atlantique lies ... This made Jason with his brave Fleete of Argonautickes to saile into Colchos, in hope of a perpetuall Trade for the Gold of that place with his Grecian Commodities' (Vaughan i626a, Eeei v ). (Note the evasive jump from the early colonizing of empty land to more recent trade with already settled local inhabitants.) We in Britain 'are not Natives, but after many hands led into this Kingdome' (Eeeiv-Eee2). Modern colonists pursue an ancient imperative. Yet, with more patriotism than consistency, Vaughan is also distressed that so many Britons now seek their fortunes in 'Popish and Moorish Countries ... in time forgoing the memory of their naturall Mother-tongue, as of the t[r]ue Faith, wherein they were baptized!' (Eee2). Far better to try Newfoundland. Vaughan's own migrating 'Argonautickes,' then, have emotionally resonant predecessors in the dark backward and abysm of time. (Nor since the real Colchis had far more lumber, pitch, and hemp than golden fleeces, dragons, or beautiful witches - is his euhemerism unjustified.) Near the start of part 3, moreover, Orpheus Junior explains that going to Newfoundland is not spiritual exile, for 'I see the same God overlooking Newfoundland, which overlookes Europe, and all the world over.'Jesuits understand this, which is why there are now some Chinese and Japanese Christians, but too many English gentlemen are 'given to lazinesse, and the love of their dunghils at home' (Aaa4v). The poor do not have the means to settle in the Americas, while the rich lie 'besotted with the lullabies of carnall ease.' Meanwhile, for the enterprising, Newfoundland 'is our Colchos, where the Golden Fleece flourisheth on the backes of Neptunes sheepe [fish, of course], continually to be shorne.

136 Anne Lake Prescott

This is Great Britaines Indies, never to be exhausted dry' (Bbbi r ). Vaughan also remembers the famous Order of the Golden Fleece, first instituted in Burgundy and awarded by Hapsburg rulers to the elite as a sign of chivalric honour and solidarity. But Vaughan again reads this idealizing symbol, one so useful to those interested in exploiting western gold mines, as having its origins in economic materiality. Wanting his settlers to be more than profit-obsessed capitalists out to exploit some offshore El Dorado, he makes them seem chivalric, glistening with courtly distinction as they help rescue their mother, Great Britain, from poverty and decay. So he says, 'this pretious Treasure surmounts the Duke of Burgundies Golden Fleece.' On the other hand, this is no idle courtly dream, for Vaughan also notes that the duke named his order of knighthood 'by reason of his large customs which he received from our English Woolls and Cloth in the Low Countries' (Bbbi). As Vaughan says a few lines later, 'let men in cold blood lay aside their crotchets, and the sparkling flames of imagination, and judiciously weigh the utility of this business.' The hearers in Apollo's court are so excited by Orpheus's speech that they cry out in 'joy, to heare that a new Colchos was found out for the restoring of Trading,' and many of the ladies resolve to 'imitate Isabella Queene of Castile, in selling their Jewels, Rings, and Bracelets, for the furthering of this Plantation and Fishing' (Bbbi v ). Apollo is likewise impressed. Some pages later he explains why, in words that again combine an insistence on practicality with an appeal to glamour and glitter. The golden fleece, as Vaughan has made clear, is in fact the money to be made offish, plain ordinary fish. Ralegh searches upriver for a city of gold. Magellan dips through seas in the warm spicy tropics. Drake circles the globe on a ship named the Golden Hind. The prospect Vaughan offers is living in the woods, and the treasure he promises comes from sawing trees and gutting cod. One can see why he wanted to associate Newfoundland with ancient legend and to suggest that it too has gold, gold, gold. As the emperor Vespasian remarked about the wealth he collected from public urinals, the money itself smelled just fine. Convinced that Newfoundland is both substantial and shiny, Apollo pronounces glowingly on hopes for further settlement: A brave Dessigne it is, as Royall as Reall, as Honourable as Profitable. It promises renowne to the King, revenew to the Crowne, Treasure to the Kingdome, a purchase for the Land, a prize for the Sea, Ships for navigation, Navigation for ships, Mariners for both: Entertainment for the

William Vaughan's Newfoundland


rich, employment for the poore, advantage for the Adventurers, and encrease of Trade to all the subjects. A myne of Gold it is; the Myne is deepe, the veines are great, the Oare is rare, the gold is pure, the extent unlimited, the wealth unknowne, the worth invaluable. All this you shall signfie unto that Noble King [Charles i]. And in the interim of our progresse, we command all the rest of my vertuous Corporation to obey the Lady Pallas, whom wee doe substitute in our stead as Queene Regent to see our State well and peaceably governed (Llliv-Lll2).

The section ends as St David, patron of Wales, sings the praises of his own country and Newfoundland, rebuking doubters in lines that suggest how slander could shipwreck the new Argo: Stand backe thy selfe, thou greedy Elfe, Shall Slugges [human lazybones] the Haven hold? And merry Greekes [jokesters] runne on a Shelfe From Colchos bearing Gold? Both Sea and Land in league conspire Rich Cambrioll to deface, If Argonautickes thou aspire To keepe from Courtly Grace. (L113)

The saint must endure rude interruptions by the falsely witty writers Skelton and Scoggin, but at the request of Spenser such 'scoffing companions, and base ballet Rimers' are exiled from Parnassus and the new Colchis, 'for ever after ... incapable of the mystery of the golden fleece' (Mmm4). The woods of Newfoundland, evidently, are to echo with nothing but civility and good verse. Vaughan's interest in Newfoundland also led him to write a new book of medical advice. Medicine deals with the material world, and Vaughan liked the thought of keeping Newfoundlanders fit. The Newlanders cure (1630) builds on earlier medical books such as his Naturall and artificial directions for health (iGoob and many later editions), a work informing the reader, for example, that sugar makes milk better for the teeth, that capon (somewhat surprisingly, all things considered) is an aphrodisiac, and that the head should get washed four times a year. The 1617 edition had more explicitly looked westward, presumably because Vaughan was just launching his settlement. He was also by now even more agitated by Britain. Perhaps you need a change of air, he tells the reader, if your native land has 'infinite troupes of Lawyers,' heretics, and reprobates.

138 Anne Lake Prescott

Try New England, Virginia, Newfoundland, or even the Loire valley (Vaughan 1617, 63). The elegant dedication to Francis Bacon (likewise involved in the Newfoundland enterprise) explains that Vaughan wrote this 'Embrion' some years earlier and now proposes to rear it up to 'ripenesse ... [for] their use that dwelt remote from the Meridian of our modern Artists [i.e., doctors]. And now being engaged for a Plantation in the Southerne parts of Newfound-land, whereof your Honour is an Atlanticke piller, I should forget my dude in the superlative degree, if I presented not the same, as mettall out of confused Oare, five times purified, unto the tryall of your Lydian touch' (A2V-A3). According to Bacon's 'constellation,' he says, the great man is seated here in our Zodiacke betwixt the Signes of Leo and Libra [that is, Bacon's sign is Virgo, harvest queen and image of Justice], whereby the Hearts of all this Land doe expect some notable effects to proceede from the succeeding Rayes of your Wisedome: so it will please you likewise to illustrate with your Countenance the rising Fortunes of our Plantation in New-found-land, whereby Justice may shine in that incompassed Climate, and consequently our Navigation increase by the industry of our Merchants, for whose sakes partly, I have reviewed these my former labours, hoping with the favour of God, sometime or other in person there to partake of their Westerne Ayre. (A3V-A4)

Cure itself proffers a diet suitable to northerners, some in fact sensible advice on scurvy and frostbite, and a set of satires aimed at helping Newfoundlanders (and Britons) shape up morally. Here one finds spirited pronouncements on a range of topics from Lord Baltimore's choice of where to plant his colony to the dangers of 'Utopian' rejection of commerce.9 Vaughan's newfound golden fleece was never as thick and shiny as he had hoped, and his Atlantic Colchis turned out to have more economic and meteorological dragons than he had foreseen. Golden Grove is now gone, as is Vaughan's Cove. So, alas, are most of the fish, victims of the Atlantic ram's overfleecing. And yet, for good or ill, other settlers and visitors followed and prospered in Vaughan's Canadian non-Utopia. In anticipating that movement, Vaughan had hoped to see Britain's power and trade expand, its ranks of criminals diminish, and its idle gentlemen find something courageous and useful with which to occupy themselves. And, of course, he wanted to make money and see the impress of his family's Welsh names on the new world. I hope I have shown that the

William Vaughan's Newfoundland


myths helping him articulate these hopes are relevant to any decentring the Renaissance: not only should we remember the variety of early modern perspectives (on both sides of the Atlantic), we should also recall how the viewpoints of individual Renaissance writers could mentally shift back and forth. Although, so far as we know, Vaughan never left Europe, his fancy created a world in which east could indeed meet, and even become, a newer, realer west, and in which the history being made in Newfoundland could be justified by myths that he and his friends, believing such tales to be poetic traces of actual ancient triumphs, aimed to re-enact in modern times and on another continent. NOTES 1 See, for example, Stephen Greenblatt's chapter on Spenser (in Greenblatt 1980), Montrose 1993, and Stallybrass 1986. See also Miller 1993; she describes how Humphrey Gilbert and others hoped that, through plantation and trade in North America, England might exchange its - and its queen's - idle infertility for male vigour and plenty. 2 'To the Virginian Voyage' (1606) in Drayton 1953, 1: 23; Ralegh [1596] 1903, 10: 428). Hayman (1628, Bk. 2, no. 64) writes of Newfoundland: Indeed she now lookes rude, untowardly; She must be decked with neat husbandry. So have I scene a plaine swart, sluttish Jone, Looke pretty pert, and neat with good cloathes on.


4 5


On Hayman's association of Newfoundland with the female body (and with an earlier state of his own nation), see Prescott 1997. On one occasion, though, Vaughan uses his own sibling metaphor: The Neiulonders cure (1630, ASV) calls Newfoundland 'Great Britaines Sister, or Britanniol, in regard that for these fourescore yeares and upwards, She hath furnished us with Fish and Traine.' Indeed, there had long been fisheries off Newfoundland; see Turgeon 1987. Since fish was more expensive than meat, Vaughan was not wrong to hope for Atlantic gold. STC 3185, The New-found politicke, an amalgam by several hands. On the larger issues involved with this widespread suspicion of the fantastic and even the visual, see, for example, Rossky 1958; and on typical suspect fantasy figures in the court masque see Gordon 1975, 179-84. There are similar complaints in The New landers cure; see, for example, 'the Rabblement of Idolaters, Abbey-Lubbers, Fayries, and Hob-Goblins' (A4); and

140 Anne Lake Prescott H4-H6, on ballads, old wives' tales, 'glozing Bookes of Chivalry,' stupid jests, and faked genealogies. 7 Pi, X7; Vaughan (iGooa, T4V) quotes Utopias less fantastic Book i with no 'faigned,' whereas Aa8 mentions 'the (faigned) Syphograuntes.' Vaughan liked Utopia, but he thought it wise to keep reminding us that Utopians are not real. 8 'Train' is oil from whales or seals. 9 Vaughan 1630, H7. The 1626 Directions for health (published with Walter Mason's treatises on the eyes) has a cure taught Vaughan by 'my deare friend Captaine Mason,' who 'hath happily practiced the same in Newfound-land, when some of his people in an extraordinary frozen winter, were troubled with Coughes': wash the blood off some fox lungs and place in an earthen pipkin. Add white wine to cover. Seal and set in an oven from which baking bread has just been removed. Repeat last step twice. Administer a nutmegsized portion in broth, beer, or other liquor. 'No beast is so long breathed as the Fox,' adds Vaughan, 'which makes these Lungs so powerfull' (Vaughan l626c, Oi-Olv). Cure gives a similar recipe, substituting vinegar for wine.

Images of English Origins in Newfoundland and Roanoke Mary C. Fuller


John Donne's elegy To His Mistress Going to Bed' has become a locus classicus for the relation of English poetry to American discovery. Donne's address to the woman disrobing as 'my America, my new found land," generates a series of bivalent identifications of the body as landscape, and the landscape as body: as paradisal landscape, as a place to rule, as a place newly found and full of hidden gems, as a legible book, as a place for adventurers to enfranchise themselves, a place of edenically coded nakedness.2 Donne's apostrophe eroticizes exploration, as a free, bold, joyfully transgressive movement to which no place is out of bounds; in the remainder of the elegy, a sense of sure, even overdetermined rhetorical and actual possession expresses itself in the multiplication of possessive pronouns - my America, my new found land, my kingdom, my mine, my empery. Analogues for the eroticized imperialism so powerfully crystallized in Donne's poem are not far to seek in the prose accounts of English experience in the Americas: most famously, perhaps, Walter Ralegh's assertion in The Discoverie of Guiana (1596) that 'Guiana is a countrey that hath yet her maidenhead' (Ralegh [1596] 1903, 10: 428). The frequency with which this phrase is cited and referred to in modern scholarship suggests that it is seen as typical, even defining. Yet not every site of English contact with the Americas generated such a gendered rhetoric of possession and mastery, such a sure sense of masculine desire and desirability. What alternate strategies, if any, did the English have for conceptualizing and representing America? And how were these conceptual strategies articulated with the experience of encountering the actual lands and peoples? Donne's poem

142 Mary C. Fuller names an alternate, marginal, or failed colonial site - but both the copious legibility and sure possession of the mistress's geographic body guarantee that the one part of America Donne can't be thinking of is the one he names: 'O my America, my new found land.' Newfoundland was England's earliest landfall, earliest land claim, but, more than that, the central experience of America for the vast majority of sixteenth-century Englishmen who had such experience. Yet even after official colonization began in the early seventeenth century, Newfoundland virtually failed to register on the English consciousness, at least as represented in printed documents. As John Reid comments, 'colonization was a conceptual as well as a physical process'; everyone knew what to do with Newfoundland, but conceptualizing the region was a different matter (Reid 1981, xiv). What they did, of course, was fish. Newfoundland was consistently an exception to the generally unhappy story of England's frustrated search for American riches, as Franklin McCann backhandedly suggests: after John Cabot's landfall in 1497. 'voyages to that part of America north of Mexico, (except those concerned solely with the Newfoundland fishing), had ended in failure and produced only disappointment and bitterness' (McCann 1952, 69; emphasis mine). As the fishery developed, it became a means of retaining what precious metals the English possessed; a triangular trade with southern Europe allowed 'exchange of Newfoundland fish for costly Mediterranean commodities with no draining away of bullion from England' (Cell 1969, 15). Simply in terms of numbers, Bruce Trigger asserts that in the sixteenth century, 'more European ships and men frequented the coasts of Newfoundland and the Gulf of the St. Lawrence each year than travelled between Spain and its rich and far-flung colonies in the New World' (Trigger 1987, 28). David Quinn and James Axtell both compare the cod fishery off Newfoundland to the mines of Mexico and Peru. Mexican gold might be more exciting or evocative a form for wealth, but the value of the cod and whale fisheries off Newfoundland and in the St Lawrence was such that 'the Gulf of Mexico could not afford to look down its nose at its Laurentian cousin' (Axtell 1988, 146). Quinn guesses that a comparison between 'the calories of nutriment provided to Europe by Newfoundland products between about 1500 and 1650' and 'the ounces of bullion extracted from Mexico and Peru' might find that their effects on human life on Western Europe were at least equal (Quinn 1990,301). The failure to represent Newfoundland has to be understood as being despite, or even because of, the fishery's success. Gillian Cell attributes

Images of English Origins in Newfoundland and Roanoke 143

Richard Hakluyt's omission of Newfoundland from his earlier colonial writings to a supposed royal preference for gold over fish: 'wishing above all to enlist Elizabeth's financial support for Raleigh's Virginia, he knew that a prosaic commodity such as codfish would appeal little to a Queen eager for more spectacular profits and more glittering spoils' (Cell 1969, 43). What mattered was not necessarily the relative amount of profit and spoils taken from the two Americas, but the spectacular and glittering nature of southern products as opposed to northern ones. Of course, 'southern' products such as gold and pearls had a purely hypothetical or representational existence in Virginia - in contrast to the unglamorous materiality of Newfoundland's dried cod. 'Raleigh's Virginia' was Roanoke Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina; it was settled by the English after 1585, under letters patent given to Sir Walter Ralegh some ninety years after the voyage of John Cabot, and hard on the heels of a formal claim to the island of Newfoundland by Ralegh's half-brother, Sir Humphrey Gilbert. Roanoke proved to have neither gold nor cod, and the catalogue of its profitable commodities in Thomas Hariot's A briefe and true report (1588) indicated hopes and theories as much as facts.3 Yet what could be imagined concerning Roanoke proved more attractive than what was known of Newfoundland. Perhaps part of the explanation for this imbalance can be found precisely in the realm of representations, in the contrast between one island perennially described in terms of a lyrical abundance, and the other whose attributes are almost universally characterized by historians as 'prosaic.' For instance, Quinn uses the term 'prosaic' with an explanatory intention: 'The exploitation of the riches of offshore North America by hundreds of European vessels - their numbers growing steadily throughout the period down to the early seventeenth century - has seemed too prosaic to be particularly interesting or even pertinent to American colonization. Yet it can now be seen as perhaps the main reason why North America continued to retain the interest of the western European powers' (Quinn 1979, 4: xix; my emphasis). Roanoke proved rich in a different kind of resource, not commodities so much as narrative and representation. Newfoundland's representational invisibility can be understood as the result of several intersecting historical and material factors - latitude, nationalisms, modes of production, and commodities produced. These factors may themselves be considered from a narrative perspective, and interrogated for the ways in which they condition historical or national narratives. A comparison of these two early

144 Mary C. Fuller

contact sites illustrates graphically the disproportion between material and symbolic evidence for accounts of English contact with North America in the sixteenth century. II

Representations of Roanoke are saturated with feminine figures and imagery, of woman as land, land as virgin. Arthur Barlowe's description (1584) climaxes in the image of a land still 'as in the first creation,' its people 'void of all guile ... and such as lived after the manner of the golden age' (Quinn 1979, 3: 280); this defining moment is linked in the narrative with the hospitality of a chieftain's wife, who welcomes, feeds, and protects the English. In a 1587 dedication addressed to Sir Walter Ralegh, Richard Hakluyt described 'Virginia' as 'that fairest of nymphs ... whom our most generous sovereign has given you to be your bride.'4 One can't underestimate the mnemonic value of Roanoke's connection to Ralegh, articulate, eloquent, and courtly - rather than to the more obscure and less literary Gilbert, whose Irish wars were brutal - and the connection through Ralegh to Elizabeth, to the iconology and gendered politics of her court; it is a cultural linkage that the Park Service brochure for the Fort Raleigh National Historic site does not hesitate to encourage. By this Elizabethan connection, Roanoke gives America a genealogy; it assures us that the American people 'directly connect' with an English sixteenth century populated by the epic figures of a golden age (C. Porter 1985, 3). If Roanoke provides a link to England, it also becomes an origin story for (English-speaking) America. Robert Arner writes: 'early in the nineteenth century, when Americans began to cast about for materials out of which to construct a national mythology, the story of the Lost Colony was one of the first sources they discovered ... The emphasis was upon attempts to explain how the missing settlers, Englishmen no longer, had become Americans and what legacies, if any, they might have left us. It was transparently a quest for American parentage' (Arner 1985, 12). In the light of these uses of history, we might notice not only that Roanoke is imagined as or in terms of the feminine, but that this imaginative gendering is associated with ideas about the colony's capacity for parenting and reproduction. Symbolic genealogies affiliate America's first colony backwards, to the Virgin Queen, and forward, to subsequent generadons of Americans; claims about reproduction assert that the English engagement with the land has been consummated and validated. At the

Images of English Origins in Newfoundland and Roanoke 145

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island, two large plaques mark the first Christian baptism in America and the first English birth. On Roanoke Island, biological and social reproduction are the real ceremonies of possession. As Robert Arner (on whose work I draw) has documented, fictional writing on the Roanoke colony gravitates to Virginia Dare, the first English child born in America - about whom nothing is known but her birth. This fictional writing (in common with more serious speculations about the fate of the colony in to to) is deeply involved with issues of racial mixture: Virginia Dare must be imagined as lovely and lovable, but there are no English boys to fall in love with her. As Arner remarks, 'If America is in any way to be imagined as arising from the fruitful loins of Virginia Dare ... then Virginia must perforce be provided with a husband ... [and] only Indians seem to be truly available to take on the job' (Arner 1985, 28). We know from the later history of Jamestown the kinds of cultural work performed by one symbolic mixed marriage at the beginning; to speak only of diplomatic relations, the marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe heralded years of relative peace between Natives and colonists.5 Yet Rolfe agonized over marrying an Indian princess already converted to Christianity, who took on English language, name, and dress as well as religion, and died far from home (Barbour 1971, 247-52; Hulme 1986, 142-6). On the evidence of Rolfe's letter, if it was difficult to imagine marrying a woman for whom the only remaining marker of cultural origin would be a feather in her English hat, it would have been impossible to envision Rolfe putting on Native American dress to cross the cultural border in the other direction. This is to speak only of what was discursively admissible at this point; an undocumented number of English colonists did do precisely that (see 'The White Indians' in Axtell 1985). Yet some version of this cultural crossing in reverse haunts the fictional accounts of Dare's fate. Necessarily, an imagined adult Virginia Dare must also be imagined as in some way literally and culturally embracing what is Native. The anxiety provoked by this possibility is registered in several writers' decision to kill her off once she reaches nubile age, a sacrifice sometimes balanced by her resuscitation as symbol.6 The writings about Virginia Dare exemplify the ways in which Roanoke becomes the occasion for a discourse both anxious and mythologizing about the Virgilian mixing of peoples at a moment of national origin, and about the union of nation with the land. We seem to know just enough about the Lost Colony to make myths, and myths

146 Mary C. Fuller

that have proved durable and versatile in their uses. There is a disappearance to be explained, a fragmentary message to decipher, named individuals both lost (the Dare family) and returning to search for them (John White). There are brilliant images - the White drawings - and seminal texts by Harriot, Lane, and Barlowe. Finally, there are real and imagined genealogies, claims about parentage and possession that apply across national, cultural, and racial boundaries, the possibility of cultural survival and transformation. Yet the records that inspire our narratives document a brief colonial enterprise that failed. D.W. Prowse opened his monumental A History of Newfoundland (1895) by lamenting that Newfoundland history at its origin cannot yield a good story. 'Alas! for the glory of our Island, for the praise of our discoverer, there are no portraits to discuss, no noble Isabella la Catolica, no devoted friar. No golden haze of romance surrounds our earliest annals. The story of the discovery of Newfoundland and North America, as told by the Cabots, is as dull as the log of a dredge-boat. Every picturesque element is eliminated from it, and the great voyage, so pregnant with moral and material results, is brought down to the low level of a mere trading adventure' (Prowse 1895, 6). Prowse's phrase, the 'golden haze of romance,' deftly condenses the properties of a certain colonial narrative - riches, heterosexual courtship, fiction completely viable for Ralegh's Virginia, completely absent for Newfoundland. Without colonial romance, colonial representation was problematized. In its absence, how was the territory of Newfoundland actually conceptualized and represented? Ill

After Cabot, the documentary record on Newfoundland is slim as far as narrative and descriptive materials are concerned. Newfoundland emerged into discursive prominence only in the early seventeenth century, when several factors combined to encourage a renewed interest in overseas enterprises; moreover, a changing climate of thought focused particular attention on Newfoundland. Among other factors were the beginnings of settlements in New England organized around a colonial fishery: early writers on New England can be relied on to compare fishing on George's Bank to 'the new fownd-Land.' In the years leading up to the English Revolution, questions about the economic organization of the fishery as well as jurisdiction over it and over its associated territories began to intersect with politically sensitive topics like monopolies.

Images of English Origins in Newfoundland and Roanoke 147 As England began to see the Dutch rather than the Spanish as its main rivals, writings on trade and wealth evinced envy and emulation not towards Spain's lucrative gold mines but towards the industrious fishermen of the Netherlands (see, for instance, Whitbourne 1620, B2; 1622, 22; Gentleman 1614, 7-15; J. Smith 1616, 10; Mason 1620, Bi). Outside of Asia, rivalry with the Dutch focused particularly on the fishery and the carrying trade: Richard Whitbourne wrote, 'Let the Dutch report what sweetnesse they haue suckt from her [Newfoundland] by trade thither, in buying of fish from our Nation' (Whitbourne 1622, A4V). More copious writing on and proposals about Newfoundland registered the resulting conceptual shift in colonial projects. Whitbourne's A discourse and discovery of New-found-land (1620), one of the best-informed of these publications, was supported by the Crown - at least to the extent of having collections taken up to pay for publication - and promoted from the pulpit (Bridenbaugh 1968, 408-9). Many things the English knew about Newfoundland - and after more than a century's experience, they did know something, despite their ignorance of the interior, their creative ideas about climate, and their inattentive cartography - lent themselves not only to description but also to interpretation by the writers of promotional tracts. Facts about the island's location, its history, its very insularity, were not inert or neutral knowledge to the colonial promoters and theorists of the 16208 and 16305. Yet the sense of 'Newfoundland' emerging as rhetorical and ideological construction from these Stuart writings differs markedly from the representation of Roanoke or Jamestown. John Mason, who produced an early printed map of the island, represented Newfoundland in terms not of its isolation, but rather of its advantageous proximity to Europe. This proximity made it cheaper to transport settlers to the island, and permitted an easier return to 'our owne home, which naturally we are so much addicted unto' (Mason 1620, Bi v ). John Hagthorpe commented favourably on Newfoundland's insularity and isolation, noting that unlike Virginia, which the Spanish threatened to cut off, Newfoundland is an island 'free from all pretence or challenge of any forraine Prince' (Hagthorpe 1625, 33). Whitbourne argues that Newfoundland should be cherished because 'trading thither and returning home thence, wee little feare the Turkes bondage and circumcision, nor any outlandish Inquisition' (Whitbourne 1620, 45). The fishery represents not only freedom from political or religious challenge, but also an economic freedom from dependence on foreign exchange: 'And this also to be gathered and brought home by the sole

148 Mary C. Fuller

labour and Industrie of men, without exchange or exportation of our Coine, and natiue commodities, or other adventure (then of necessary provisions for the fishing)' (Whitbourne 1620, 13). On another note, Mason praises the ice that surrounds the island in winter as a defence against invasion. The Newfoundland projectors, in short, argued that this was a colonial project where the isolation and emptiness of the site offered protection against cultural contact, exchange, or adaptation. That Newfoundland was an island had more than merely practical significance to the English; it allowed Newfoundland to be understood as not only closest to England but most like it.7 Richard Whitbourne was the first to articulate a view of Newfoundland's location as analogous to the location of England within Europe, 'it is an Hand, neere as spacious as Ireland, and lieth so far distant from the Continent of America, as England is from the neerest part of France, and neere halfe the way between Ireland and Virginia' (Whitbourne 1620, A3V). Robert Hayman imagined England's past in the shape of Newfoundland's present: 'When England was us'd for a Fishing place, by Coasters only, 'twas in the same case, And so unlovely 't had continued still: Had not our Ancestors us'd paines, and skill' (Hayman 1628, 36). This sense of Newfoundland's location as marking a natural correspondence with England was connected to the sense that the North was 'reserved for the English' as a place where they really were first.8 It drew also on an anxiety about the effects of more southerly climates on health and character, backed up by justifiable concerns about the mortality rate in Jamestown. John Hagthorpe described Newfoundland's climate as 'agreeing with this of ours' more so than was the case for more southerly colonies. 'First, for the Ayre; it is pleasant, and as temperate in Summer as here: whereas Virginea and Barmudaes are very hot; whereby ... Cawsons and Calentures doe many times there raine ... which hath bin the death of so many men, and throwne that indeluble infamy upon the place, as a second Golgothae: and the greatest part of these mischiefes arising for want of Beare [beer]. But none of these neede be feared in New-found-land' (Hagthorpe 1625,31-2). Whitbourne's description of Newfoundland - resembling Ireland in size and England in relation to the continent, and situated halfway between Ireland and Virginia - locates it in a symbolic geography, corresponding in the New World to England in the Old; he places it practically as well, at the centre of a developing colonial economy in the North Atlantic (Whitbourne 1620, A3V). Newfoundland's middle position is remarked on over and over in the seventeenth-century literature.

Images of English Origins in Newfoundland and Roanoke 149 Simon Stock, a would-be Catholic missionary to Lord Baltimore's colony at Ferryland, tells his superiors: 'Avalon lies midway between England and Virginia, and when the Faith is spread to Avalon, with greater ease may we extend it to Virginia, New England, New Scotland and amongst the Canadians' (Codignola 1988, 86). For ships travelling between Europe and the Americas, Newfoundland was an easy intermediate stop for provisioning (the original intent of Gilbert's visit) - and not only for English ships: Whitbourne comments on the presence of Spanish ships returning from the West Indies, and Portuguese ships taking on fish for Brazil. It also provided alternate resources for voyages whose own aims had failed. After the failure of his second Guiana expedition, Ralegh's captains headed there for a bit of compensatory fishing and piracy.9 The promoters tried to suggest that Newfoundland's fishery produced not a poor substitute for American gold - John Smith suggests that cod 'may seeme a mean and a base commoditie' - but merely another, and better, version of it (Smith 1616, 10). Writers repeatedly compared Newfoundland's fishery to the gold and silver of the Indies; for the colonial promoter William Vaughan, Newfoundland is 'A myne of Gold' (Vaughan i6s6a, Llli v ). Whitbourne suggests more prosaically that 'the trade to that Countrey ... may yeerely be so beneficiall to your Maiestie ... as the West Indies are now yeerely worth to the King of Spaine' (Whitbourne 1620, 61). In a later pamphlet, he claimed the Newfoundland trade would bring in more precious metal than the West Indian mines, 'and with lesse hazard, & more certainty & felicity' (Whitbourne 1622, 22). John Smith, in The generall historic of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles (1624), prefers fishing over prospecting for colonists. Whitbourne similarly derides voyages aimed at the pursuit of gold, 'animated on by some turbulent spirits that have outrun themselves, and so brought men in such mindes, that on the coast of Guinnie there, they might gather up gold along the Sea-shore, washed up with the Sea in great abundance; and likewise if they would adventure to the West Indies, there they should load their ships with gold-oare, and drawe it aboord their ships with Wheele-barrowes, and then share it by the pound; and such like projects' (Whitbourne 1620, 34). Fish were better than gold because the fishery involved the English in labour, a labour seen as morally salutary, socially necessary, and strategically useful. Not only was the product a commodity both vendible and comestible; since the fishery trained mariners, the process of fishing was beneficial as well.10 And training might have more than practical implications:

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Anthony Parkhurst, in a letter of 1577 possibly addressed to Edward Dyer, praised the fishery as imposing on workers a laudable discipline. Thes men that travell thether kepe a longe lent of halfe one yere, and spare mutche drynke and vytteles that at home and in other cuntryes they would wantonly wast. Lyvynge nowe by fysshe, sower bere, bysket, bad syder and that more then halfe myngeled with water' (Quinn 1979, 4: 7). John Hagthorpe played off the necessary moderation of a colony at Newfoundland against the unhealthy or even dangerous fertility of Africa or of Virginia, where nature ' (like a luxurious wombe) casts out many times, but an abortive fruite' (Hagthorpe 1625, 3O> 36). Perhaps more to the point than Vaughan's assertion that Newfoundland was a mine of gold is his imagination of the Newfoundland fishery as England's 'golden fleece' (the title of his book): This is our Colchos, where the Golden Fleece flourisheth on the backes of Neptunes sheepe, continually to be shorne. This is Great Britaines Indies, never to be exhausted dry' (Vaughan 16262., Bbbi r ). This image concisely incorporates the two primary benefits of the fishery: the acquisition of specie and the continual necessity for English labour. Significantly, that labour is imagined in the form of shearing sheep: in the image not just of a domestic, land-based husbandry but that practice of husbandry that had traditionally produced England's primary commodity for foreign trade. John Mason suggests a more direct comparison of land and sea: 'For could one acre [of the sea off Newfoundland] be inclosed with the Creatures therein in the monthes of June, Julie, and August, it would exceed one thousand acres of the best Pasture with the stocke thereon which we have in England' (Mason 1620, A3V). He continues: T have heard some countries commended for their two fowld Harvest, which heare thou hast, although in a different kinde, yet both as profitable, I (dare say) as theirs so much extolled, if the right course be taken; & well fareth, that country say I, which in one months time with reasonable paines, wil pay both land-lords rent, servants wages, and all Houshold charges' (4). Mason's and Vaughan's images suggest the fishery had to be translated, metaphorically moved inland, in order to be understood. Patricia Seed has recently suggested that the use of 'planting' as a synonym for 'colonizing' in early modern English tells us something important about what the English believed was necessary to take possession of New World land; the English, she argues, saw settlement as necessarily bound up with traditional ways of using the land: hedging and fencing, manuring and planting, building permanent houses (Seed 1995, 1640). Yet the Newfoundland colonists, official and unofficial, settled on

Images of English Origins in Newfoundland and Roanoke


land profoundly ill-suited to cultivation and husbandry. The Historical Atlas of Canada uses colour to illustrate the agricultural capability of the Atlantic region for the 'mixed agriculture practised by northwestern Europeans'; the vast majority of Newfoundland is coloured pink (for 'None'), and no part of it is coloured green ('Fair or better') (Harris and Matthews 1987, plate 20).n Though John Guy explored Conception Bay extensively during 1608 in search of a desirable site, the Cupid's Cove colony was still seated on land that supported little more than hay and root vegetables (Cell 1969, 63). Moreover, the evidence indicates that Newfoundland's primary economic activity of fishing fostered a relation to the land of opportunistic exploitation rather than implantation; there was no need for Englishmen to live there to carry on the fishery, nor any structural incentive to take care of what was there. Early legislation for Newfoundland targeted less the social behaviour of Englishmen on the island - though they are enjoined not to murder and to attend divine service - than their economic behaviour, which included a number of environmentally wasteful practices favoured by the industry. A pamphlet printed under Charles i (1633) forbade the dumping of ballast or anchors in harbours, the destruction of sheds and flakes for drying fish, or the firing of wood and removal of tree-bark beyond that needed for roofing; these concerns are with the same offences adjudicated by Richard Whitbourne when he held an Admiralty Court at Newfoundland in 1615 (Charles i 1633, 6-9, 11-12; Whitbourne 1620, Ci, 21-31, 621). Early maps suggested the primary importance of Newfoundland's relation to the sea over its quality as land. Indeed, a series of sixteenthcentury maps beginning in 1540 showed Newfoundland as an archipelago rather than a single island (Quinn 1990, 304-6). Such interpretations (not unreasonable ones) of a deeply corrugated coastline perhaps reflect a desire not to have a large landmass in the way of a hypothetical passage to Asia. They also suggest that for a long time Newfoundland was not thought of as having an interior, that it appeared to the European imagination as a set of liminal harbours - a significant lack in an age when Europeans still fantasized about the discovery of American gold, imagined not only deep inside the earth but also deep inland. The plantation/anti-plantation debate of the later seventeenth century revolved around the question of whether it made more sense to treat Newfoundland as harbours for fishing ships than as land for colonists. Later in the century Sir Josiah Child characterized settlement as directly detrimental to the pursuit of the fishery: The Planters ... do keep disso-

152 Mary C. Fuller

lute Houses, which have Debauch'd Sea-men, and diverted them from their Laborious and Industrious Calling; whereas before ... the Sea-men had no other resort during the Fishing Season (being the time of their abode in that Country) but to their Ships, which afforded them convenient Food and Repose, without the inconveniencies of Excess' (Child 1698, 208). John Reeves, the first chief justice of Newfoundland's Supreme Court, stated in his evidence to a parliamentary committee in the late 17005 that 'Newfoundland is still nothing but a great ship, dependent upon the mother country for every thing they eat, drink and wear or for the funds to procure them ... They all look to the sea alone for support... and those who carry cultivation furthest reap no produce but what can be furnished by a garden' (Innis [1940] 1954, 299, citing Third Report 1793). The nature of English endeavours at Newfoundland and of the land itself worked against recognition of Newfoundland as a plantation or colony, even as the English were settling it. These observations about relations to the land should be set next to some observations about the role of real and symbolic women. At different times, the home government issued proclamations that English subjects should leave Newfoundland - these were never enforced - and directives to officials to discourage permanent inhabitants (see Innis [1940] 1954, 316-17; Prowse 1895, 190-2). It is in this context that Captain Francis Wheler, RN, commissioned to report on French activities in Newfoundland, remarked of the settlers in 1684, 's°e longe as there comes no women they are not fixed' (Handcock 1989, 32, 284). The connection between women and implantation embedded in Wheler's famous comment has its echoes in other colonial documents. In 1607 the Spanish ambassador Don Pedro de Zuriiga reported to the king of Spain on Jamestown: 'it is not their intention to plant colonies, but to send out pirates from thence, since they do not take women, but only men' (A. Brown 1890, i: 119). The first English women were sent to Virginia in 1621 (Kingsbury 1906-35, i: 255-6); the Earl of Southhampton explained to the government 'that the Plantation can never flourish till families be planted and the respect of wives and children fix the people on the soyle' (Bridenbaugh 1968, 419). English men might live in Newfoundland, but they were not be taken as permanent residents until English women were there with them. Until the nineteenth century, the population of early colonial Newfoundland was both largely male and largely migratory, fluctuating with the seasonal demands of the fishery. The scholarly literature links these factors as strongly as did seventeenth-century observers: 'A signal fea-

Images of English Origins in Newfoundland and Roanoke


ture of settlement in Newfoundland up to the end of the eighteenth century was the demographic sexual imbalance and the effect the absence of women had on the speed and success of settlement' (M. Porter 1985, 109).12 Women were scarce in Newfoundland for a long time: by 1790, in a population of ten thousand long-term residents, men still outnumbered women five to one (Harris and Matthews 1987, 50, Plate 25). Scarcity is not absence, however; Wheler's comment is not to be taken literally as implying that there were 'noe women' in Newfoundland. The Historical Atlas of Canada records that 'by the 16708 there was at least one family in 30 different English settlements along the east coast of Newfoundland. St John's had almost 30 planter families' (Harris and Matthews 1987, 489). Planter families were vastly outnumbered by unmarried planters and unmarried male servants; yet if, demographically, Newfoundland's population was characterized by 'the extremely small number of females to support the growth of a "native-born" popu-lation' (Handcock 1989, 40), by that small margin it was distinct from the all-male configuration of early Jamestown, or for that matter from the settlers at Roanoke before 1587. Indeed, of the 117 individuals who arrived at Roanoke in 1587 and were lost there, only seventeen - about one in seven - were women. But this essay is a study of representations rather than of demography. In this light, it is striking that actual women in Newfoundland did not signify - and equally striking, in the light of other colonial representations, that the land was not made to signify through the typically femininegendered images so prevalent elsewhere. The early-seventeenth-century proponents of colonization imagined Newfoundland as a mine, a pasture, another England, and many other things, but almost never as a woman. Sir William Vaughan writes in The Golden Fleece that God 'had bestowed a large portion for this Countries mariage with our Kingdomes, even this great Fishing, that by this meanes it might be frequented and inhabited the sooner by us' (Vaughan i6s6a, Aaa3r). In The Newlanders cure, Vaughan confers on the island the title of 'Great Britaines Sister, or Britanniol, in regard that for these forescore yeares and upwards, She hath furnished us with Fish and Traine, which by Exchange returne us sundry kinds of Commodities' (Vaughan 1630, A5V). In both these images, however, Newfoundland's gender is closely linked to 'her' economic contribution: she should be called England's sister because 'she hath furnished us with Fish and Traine,' or she is a bride whose 'large portion' has attracted us. The few exceptions are

154 Mary C. Fuller

instructive ones. Richard Whitbourne characterized Newfoundland as 'nurse and mother': 'For as great Brittaine hath ever been a cherishing nurse and mother to other forraigne sonnes and daughters, feeding them with the milke of her plenty, and fatting them at her brests, when they have been even starved at their owne: Even so hath this worthy Countrey of New-found-land from time to time given free and liberall entertainment to all that desired her blessings: and chiefly (above all other Nations) to the English' (Whitbourne 1622, A4). Whitbourne's resonant gendering of the island is echoed by Prowse: Newfoundland is 'a meagre and haggard kind of mother, yet for all that she saved the ancient Colony of Virginia from semi-starvation by a timely cargo offish' (Prowse 1895, xiv). In these images, Newfoundland is gendered not as a nubile woman (as bride, virgin, and so on) but as wet-nurse to children, colonies, nations, giving to all 'free and liberall entertainment.' Feminine Newfoundland then fulfils for these 'forraigne sonnes and daughters' (who include the English) a kind of temporary function; she is valued and understood only accidentally in terms of her own reproductive capacity and, more importantly, in terms of her ability to nourish those who will go on to leave her and become independent. The image of the wet-nurse corresponds to the geographical view of Newfoundland as a middle point between destinations; to the economic sense of fish and fishing as enabling more glamorous military, colonizing, and exploring ventures; and to the demography of a largely migratory population. Implicit also in the image is a class marking: the wet-nurse is employed to feed the children of a higher-status woman. In the image of the nurse, there is no narrative tension, no maidenhead, no virgin longing for wedlock; her role is simply to gratify children's oral desire. Newfoundland does not need discovery. Being like the mother, she is already well known. Since she is not the mother, there is no sense of attachment, no sense of that knowledge as mattering. The image corresponds to what Quinn calls a paradox in the early history of the island: to thousands of fishermen in western Europe, 'Newfoundland was almost regarded as an outpost of Europe itself. Yet ... to Europeans of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries Newfoundland was scarcely known at all. It was simply taken for granted' (Quinn 1990, 309). At the opening of this essay, John Donne's elegy served to exemplify the rhetorical/lyric conflation of the female body with newfound land. Yet the seventeenth-century texts show us that Newfoundland was only with difficulty imagined as new land - fertile, penetrable, desirable, to be discovered. Gendered images of Newfoundland are markedly non-

Images of English Origins in Newfoundland and Roanoke 155

erotic ones: sister, wet-nurse, or spouse eligible only by her marriage portion. These concerns return us to the topic of poetic language and how it figures America, and to a book of poems written by a Newfoundland colonist and admirer of Donne, Robert Hayman. Hayman's book is composed of epigrams. Most of those relating to Newfoundland are addressed to specific investors and colonists, actual or potential. Among these are a significant fraction addressed to women, many the wives or widows of men involved in the colonizing enterprise. In one noteworthy poem, Hayman (1628, Bk. 3, no. 84) invites Henrietta Maria to become the island's patroness. To the same most Royall Queene. When wise Columbus offerd his New-land, To Wise men, they him held, vaine, foolish, fond, Yet a wise Woman, of an happy wit, With go[o]d successe advent[u]r'd upon it: Then the wise-men their wisedomes did repent, And their heires since their follies doe lament. My New-land, (Madam) is already knowne, The way the ayre, the earth, all therein growne, It only wants a Woman of your spirit, To mak't a Land fit for your Heires t'inherit. Sweet, dreaded Queene, your helpe here will doe well: Be here a Famous second Isabell.

America requires women as patrons for their ability to see wisdom in apparent foolishness, for the happy wit of their illogical belief in its possibility, for their willingness to place confidence in a man when no one else will. And that romance - the willingness of this woman to connect herself to the land - is what will make it Tit,' a land to be passed down in a family that will reproduce and support reproduction. (Other poems, such as book 2, number 100, invoke the agricultural labour of men as the means to the same end.) Hayman's poetry imagines that the land lacks a powerful female figure willing to identify herself with it and, in doing so, make it viable in a lasting way. In this absence, Newfoundland is both practically and representationally disadvantaged, still able to produce only 'unripe eares of corne' and 'these few bad unripe Rimes,' as Hayman writes in his preface (Hayman 1628, A2). As Donne's imagination does not encompass 'the cold Country of Newfound-land' in the eroticized body of 'my America, my new found

156 Mary C. Fuller

land,' so the women in Hayman's poems are generally imagined at a distance from the land that the rest of his book so reticently represents: even the former colonist Elizabeth Guy longs for Newfoundland from the confines of an English home. There is one exception, in a poem addressed to one of Vaughan's colonists (Hayman 1628, Bk. 2, no. 24), and it resonates with the gendered images of Newfoundland discussed earlier. Tis said, wise Socrates look't like an Asse; Yet he with wondrous sapience filled was; So though our Newfound-Land look wild, salvage, She hath much wealth penn'd in her rustle Cage. So have I scene a leane-cheekes, bare, and ragged, Who of his private thousands could have bragged. Indeed she now lookes rude, untowardly; She must be decked with neat husbandry. So have I scene a plaine swarth, sluttish Jone, Looke pretty pert, and neat with good cloathes on.

Hayman's poem reverses the action of Donne's speaker, clothing the newfound land in order to see and know it. Rather than associating the land with wealth and mystic knowledge, Hayman indicates by his adjectives a woman who is plain and, like Whitbourne's wet-nurse, of lower class; whatever 'private thousands' are belied by a 'rude,' 'swarth,' 'sluttish' appearance, at her best she is but 'pert' and 'neat,' adjectives that might describe a maid. These gendered images of Newfoundland reflect the 'beastliness' of the product and work with which it was synonymous. If there is a mythic narrative for Newfoundland history, it might be, among other things, a narrative of class rather than gender, a narrative of discovery and settlement imagined as work undertaken by the largely anonymous common man. It is this anonymous working man whom the Newfoundland historian D.W. Prowse celebrates over more than 600 pages: 'clearly these old cod smacks had discovered all around ... long before the court gallants and their grand expeditions' (Prowse 1895,45). There are reasons we should pay closer attention to the early history of Newfoundland. Better knowledge of this history might usefully counterbalance a sense (in literary studies, at least) that English colonialism in its earliest phase was dominated by a paradigm of gender emanating largely from court culture. It would also help to offset the shaping force of U.S. history and its nationalist preoccupations in accounts of early

Images of English Origins in Newfoundland and Roanoke 157

British North America. The early history of Newfoundland is antiromantic, foregrounding economic activities and motivations, emphasizing the discontinuity and incoherence of colonial efforts. It suggests narratives that would disrupt a sure sense of discovery as entering and possessing the New World. Donne's poem may have been the most artistically accomplished vision of the New World, but it was not the only one, or even, from the perspective of some historically grounded interests, the most important one. Working over these materials to produce a commemorative narrative of Newfoundland's history would doubtless produce another myth of origins - but, being a different myth, it might allow us to know other things about our past. NOTES 1 'Licence my roving hands, and let them go / Behind, before, above, between, below. / O my America, my new found land, / My kingdom, safeliest when with one man manned, / My mine of precious stones, my empery, / How blessed am I in this discovering thee. / To enter in these bonds is to be free, / Then where my hand is set my seal shall be' (Elegy 19, Donne 1990, 13,11.25-32). 2 The connection of lyric and discovery is not urged simply by the text of the poem, or its resemblances to descriptive and promotional writing on America; we know too that Donne applied in 1609 for a colonial posting with the Virginia Company, and was appointed to the council of the company in July 1622. 3 Though the prevailing belief seems to have been that gold deposits were linked to warm climates, the English were at least willing to consider the possibility that it might be found elsewhere: as witness the initial credence given to Frobisher's Baffin Island assays. 4 'Epistle Dedicatory to Sir Walter Ralegh by Richard Hakluyt, 1587,' in E.G.R. Taylor 1935, 2: 367. See the essays by Montrose (1993) and Fuller (1993) f°r more extended discussion of this image in the context of Ralegh's colonial projects. 5 Karen Blu comments that for whites she studied in Robeson County, NC, 'Indian blood, if it entered a White family in a much earlier generation and if it did not come from Robeson County Indians, is apparently not polluting and can be rather enhancing. A "Cherokee princess" is perhaps the most frequently mentioned ancestor' (Blu 1980, 25). 6 See Powell and Powell 1988 for examples of the Dare material.

158 Mary C. Fuller 7 This sense of analogy persisted: D.W. Prowse describes the island of Newfoundland as occupying 'nearly the same position in the new world that Britain does in the old' (Prowse 1895, xiii). 8 Robert Thorne wrote in 1527 that 'there is left one way to discover, which is into the North' (Hakluyt 1903, 2: 161). In the prefatory material to the first volume of Principal Navigations, devoted to discoveries to the north and northeast, Hakluyt favourably compares the discoveries of England in the North to those of Spain and Portugal in the West. Spain and Portugal had classical testimonies to the feasibility of their discoveries, as well as 'Columbus to stirre them up, and pricke them forward unto their Westerne discoveries.' The English, by contrast, 'were either altogether destitute of such cleare lights and inducements, or if they had any inkling at all, it was as misty as they found the Northern seas, and so obscure and ambiguous, that it was meet rather to deterre them, then to give them encouragement' (Hakluyt 1903, i: xli-xlii). England's northern voyages are unthought of and unprecedented, entirely anomalous. 9 Whitbourne notes the depredations of'an English erring Captaine (that went forth with Sir Walter Rawleigh)' (1620, Ci v ). Numerous narratives in Principal Navigations describe voyages that made intermediate or unintended stops at Newfoundland. Whitbourne describes Newfoundland as 'fit for Harbour and reliefe, upon the way betweene us and Virginia' (Bi v ), also as lying near the course Spanish ships take returning from the West Indies; three such ships arrived there for provisioning in 1615, and Portuguese ships called regularly to take on fish for Brazil (17-18). 10 See Cell 1969, 24-5 on Sir William Cecil's promotion of the fishery as a source of trained mariners for naval war. Cecil proposed legislation in 1563 increasing the number offish days (mandated by patriotism rather than religion) and making fish free of export duty; Cell notes that the injunction to consume fish was frequently reinforced by proclamation. 11 W. Gordon Handcock refers to Grant Head's explanation of Newfoundland's 'retarded colonization' in terms of'the properties and limitations of the physical environment, the problems of survival and adaptation, and especially the critical importance of food supply from external sources' (Handcock 1989, 13-14, citing Head 1976). 12 In a study of Newfoundland's population W. Gordon Handcock writes, Tn any colonizing context, the number of women and children may be regarded as an index of the more stable and permanent population, since it is axiomatic that these categories have implications for the germination, perpetuation, and continuity of a population and its social capacity to absorb subsequent immigrants (intermarriage)' (Handcock 1989, 95).

From the Good Savage to the Degenerate Indian: The Amerindian in the Accounts of Travel to America* Real Ouellet with Mylene Tremblay

The Myth of the Savage

Before becoming a human being with ethnographic, psychological, and social traits, before becoming an economic or military agent in an international dynamic, the Amerindian was a Savage- that is, a myth.1 The Amerindian was the inhabitant of those far-off lands that represented both the earthly paradise and the fabulously wealthy Orient. When Christopher Columbus reached the Guanahani archipelago in October 1492, he looked for and saw ample signs of these legendary riches. He noted that some of the Natives wore 'a small piece [of gold] hanging from a hole which they have in the nose' (Columbus 1960, 26); he listened eagerly to all he was told about 'Samoet, which is the island or city where there is gold' (33); he dreamed of Cuba, which 'has in it gold and spices' (42). At the same time, his culture allowed him to perceive the strange beauty of what he had discovered as an image of the Garden of Eden: the island was covered with 'many trees, very green and tall'; its 'land is higher than the other islands which have been discovered' (38); the trees and the flowers gave off a 'sweet' perfume. To show that the frontiers of the normal world had been crossed, the narrator multiplied the intensive formulae that stressed the sweetness, youth, and harmony of the scenery: 'the loveliest thing I have seen'; 'the most delightful thing in the world' (38); 'the island is the most lovely that eyes have ever seen' (46). He also remarked on the strangeness of its beauty: 'I saw many trees very unlike ours ... so unlike each other that it is the greatest wonder in the world ...

Translated by Dominique O'Neill.

160 Real Ouellet with Mylene Tremblay

For example: one branch has leaves like those of a cane and another leaves likes those of a mastic tree, and thus, on a single tree, there are five or six different kinds all so diverse from each other' (33). Caught up in this setting, Columbus initially embraced a vision of the Amerindian as innocent, docile child. Yet such a view was soon challenged, even by Columbus himself on later voyages. Europeans developed diverse images of the Native peoples of the New World. These representations ran the full range from child of Eden to descendant of Cain. In between were descriptions of behaviour found useful and exploited by some explorers and deplored by others. This essay examines, in turn, these various representations and how they changed over generations of contact. The Savage's Youth and Beauty

It was in this welcoming territory, bathed in water, that Columbus first met the Natives of the Caribbean, who swam towards the travellers' ships to bring them 'parrots and cotton thread in balls, and spears and many other things' in exchange for 'glass beads and hawks' bells' (23). 'The people all came to shore, calling us and giving thanks to God,' he had observed. 'Some brought us water, others various eatables: others, when they saw that I was not inclined to land, threw themselves into the sea and came, swimming, and we understood that they asked us if we had come from heaven' (27). Cartier in Relations (1986, 112-3) and Champlain in Des Sauvagesof 1604 (Champlain 1922-36, i: 180) describe similar aquatic greetings offered to the new arrivals. Although Columbus immediately noticed the nakedness of the Native people, he did not attribute it to destitution, as would Jacques Cartier forty years later. Columbus wrote: 'They all go naked as their mother bore them, and the women also, although I saw only one very young girl. And all those whom I did see were youths, so that I did not see one who was over thirty years of age; they were all very well built, with very handsome bodies and very good faces' (23-4). Their nakedness, which so fascinated the observers - Columbus mentions it repeatedly2 seemed like the mark of a primordial state of purity, of a recent birth, similar to the youth and beauty of the world, evoked in the numerous mentions of greenness that are scattered throughout Columbus's description of the newly discovered lands: 'this island ... is so green that it is a pleasure to gaze upon it' (26); this island 'has many trees, very green and tall, and this land is higher than the other islands which have been discovered' (38).

The Amerindian in the Accounts of Travel to America


The representation of Eden recurred in an unexpected fashion in the third voyage, when Columbus wondered about the configuration of the earthly paradise. Refusing the traditional vision that depicted it as a 'rugged mountain,' he conjured up the image of a woman's breast: I have come to another conclusion respecting the earth, namely, that it is not round as they describe, but of the form of a pear, which is very round except where the stalk grows, at which part it is most prominent; or like a round ball, upon one part of which is a prominence like a woman's nipple, this protrusion being the highest and nearest the sky, situated under the equinoctial line, and at the eastern extremity of this sea, - I call that the eastern extremity, where the land and the islands end. (Columbus 1978, 130)

This whimsical vision of a naked breast floating on water recalls the origins of human life, both of the species (through the earthly paradise) and of the individual (through the notion of giving birth in an aquatic surrounding). Andre Thevet, probably recalling Columbus's passage on the Amerindians' nakedness, would write in 1557 that the Natives 'live as naked as the day they came out of their mother's womb, both women and men, without any shame or bashfulness' (Thevet [1557] 1983,52). By mentioning shame, Thevet opened a theological discussion that would be taken up by Jean de Lery and would strongly mark the beginning of the seventeenth century. In 1578, in his Histoire d'un voyage faict en la terre du Bresil, Lery recalled 'what the Holy Scripture says about Adam and Eve, who, after their sin, were ashamed when they recognized that they were naked' (Lery [1578] 1990, 68). If the American Savages were not ashamed of their nakedness, did that mean that they were not made 'participants in Adam's guilt & heirs to his sin,' that they did not 'also inherit the shame (that is the result of the sin) as did all the other nations of the world' (Claude d'Abbeville i6i4a, 270"")? In other words, could one branch of the human race have escaped the divine malediction? Unable to tolerate such an hypothesis, the Capuchin Claude d'Abbeville proposed a rather tortuous, if not far-fetched, theological justification. The Maragnan Savages were indeed descended from Adam, whose sin they bore, but they were situated within that small temporal interval that separates the commission and the awareness of the sin: 'our first parents did not hide their nudity and felt no shame or bashfulness until their eyes were opened, that is until they realized they had sinned and saw themselves naked and stripped of the beautiful coat

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of original justice ... But since the Maragnans have never had any knowledge of the law, they can have no knowledge of the failings of vice and sin' (Claude d'Abbeville i6i4a, 270). But let us forget these theological subtleties to explore surer ground. From these early European encounters with the inhabitants of the New World, a double image emerged: that of the Christian conqueror who wanted to entice the Savages with presents 'so that they might feel great amity towards us,' so as to convert and then reduce them to slavery; and that of the 'docile' Amerindian, 'deficient in everything' (Columbus 1960, 23), but paradoxically rich in everything the Spaniards were avidly searching for. The Diabolical Savage

The euphoric representation of an edenic America and the generous and docile Savage changed drastically during Columbus's fourth journey, when natural elements thwarted his plans. Still speculating on the 'location of the terrestrial paradise' as he continued to look for gold mines (Columbus 1978, 177), he fell ill and his expedition was practically paralyzed by cruel weather, 'in that sea which seemed to me as a sea of blood, seething like a cauldron on a mighty fire' that threatened at any moment to engulf the ship (179). Like the coast, which had suddenly become 'formidable' (180), the Caribbean Natives were no longer generous and hospitable beings, but enemies 'of a very rough disposition,' who resolved 'on burning [everything] and on putting us all to death' (183) and who 'made an attack upon the boats, and at length massacred the men' (184). One recognizes here the second representation of the Amerindian, the one whose diabolical cruelty was so often described through examples of ritual torture or cannibalism in the writings of Jean de Lery and the Jesuits, or who was sketched by Theodore deBry. Although he did not dwell as did so many others on the cruel inhumanity of the Beothuks he encountered in the St Lawrence estuary thirty years later, Carder symbolically recalled this aspect when he described the inhospitable coast: The land should not be called the New Land, being composed of stones and horrible rugged rocks; for along the whole of the north shore [of the gulf] I did not see one cartload of earth and yet I landed in many places. Except at Blanc Sablon there is nothing but moss and short, stunted shrub. In fine, I am rather inclined to believe that this is the land God gave to Cain' (Carder 1993,

The Amerindian in the Accounts of Travel to America 163

9-10). The obvious biblical reminiscence makes of the nomadic Amerindian a reincarnation of Cain, the outcast, condemned to wander for the horrible murder of his brother, Abel. In Jesuit spiritual terms, this negative vision of the cruel Amerindian gave birth to numerous scenes in which the Amerindian torturer resembled the devil, who torments the damned in hell: 'I suppose that the demons do something similar at the sight of souls condemned to their braziers' (Jesuit Relations [1610-1791] 1896-1901 [hereafter JR] 21: 303). At other times, the Jesuits compared the Amerindians to those who put Christ to death, thus drawing a parallel between the violent death of missionaries and the Passion of Christ: 'dying at the hands of these Barbarians, whose salvation we come to seek, is in some degree following the example of our good Master, who was put to death by those to whom he came to bring life' (JR 5: 224-5). The Savage as an Informant

Although they never abandoned this double representation of Native peoples, one positive and one negative - the explorers and missionaries of New France rendered it more complex in order to make it fit their dreams of conquest and their mythical projections. When Champlain met the Native peoples of the St Lawrence for the first time, he was too preoccupied with finding a road to China to allow himself to be overcome by the negative aspects of representation.3 As an efficient explorer of the land, he had them guide him through the maze of forests and waterways. He especially used them as informants, questioning them at length. When we saw we could do no more ... we questioned the savages we had with us about the end of the river, which I made them draw by hand, and [show] whence was the source. They told us, that beyond the first rapid we had seen, they go up the river in their canoes some ten or fifteen leagues to a river which extends to the dwelling-place of the Algonquins, who dwell some sixty leagues distant from the great river; and then they pass five rapids ... [and] then they come into a lake ... Beyond it they again enter a river ... and then enter another lake ... Then they come into a lake ... at the extremity of it the water is brackish and the winter mild. At the end of the said lake they pass a fall ... From here they enter another lake ... They say that in the summer the sun sets to the north of this lake. (Champlain 192236, l: 153-6)

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With the help of this rough information, the explorer was able to constitute, in an embryonic form, the hydrographic network of the Canadian East. Once Champlain understood that the St Lawrence was an important pathway by which to penetrate the continent, he realized that European technology would not allow him to go any further: a light Amerindian bark canoe alone could cross the Lachine rapids, which had impeded Carder's progress in the preceding century. The negative traits of the Savage had not disappeared: they had merely been ignored or summarized in an incidental ethnographic observation: 'all these people sometimes suffer so great extremity, on account of the great cold and snow, that they are almost constrained to eat one another; for the animals and fowl on which they live migrate to warmer countries' (Champlain 192236, i: no). Like Champlain the explorers, without always admitting it, would count on the knowledge of the Savage to adapt to the harsh living conditions in America. Several of them would succeed so well that they would, like the Baron de Saint-Castin, become tribal chiefs, or like Nicolas Perrot, become trappers, interpreters, or traffickers. The Reasoning Savage

Even while they composed infinite variations of this dichotomous representation of the Savage, European observers gradually were setting up another representation, which would dominate the beginning of the Enlightenment: the free-thinking Savage who instructed his civilized counterpart. Once again, the topos developed slowly, by successive additions. In 1639, the Jesuit Paul Le Jeune noted the objections of a young Amerindian seminarian: You teach us that God existed before the creation of heaven and earth; if he did, where did he live, since there was neither heaven nor earth? You say also that the Angels were created in the beginning of the world, and that those who disobeyed were cast into Hell; elsewhere, you put Hell in the depths of the earth; these statements cannot agree very well, for, if the Angels sinned before the creation of the earth, they could not be thrown into Hell, or Hell is not where you place it. (Jesuit Relations [1610-1791] 1896-1901 [hereafter//?] 16: 182-3)

The missionary told the story as a picturesque anecdote, to show that his

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seminarians 'are wide-awake' and 'evince a great deal of intelligence.' Half a century later, the Recollet Chestien Le Clercq would report the apparently quite reasonable oration of a Mi'kmaq chief on the happiness of his people, whom the French had described as like the 'beasts in our woods,' 'deprived of bread, wine and a thousand other comforts': 'Well, my brother, if thou dost not yet know the real feelings which our Indians have towards thy country and towards all thy nation, it is proper that I inform thee at once. I beg thee now to believe that, all miserable as we seem in thine eyes, we consider ourselves nevertheless much happier than thou in this, that we are very content with the little that we have' (Le Clercq [1691] 1910, 104). In reporting this statement, the missionary no doubt wished to generate interest for the American missions as well as to teach a moral lesson to Europeans too concerned with earthly pleasure. But the words transcribed went beyond the traditional moralizing Christian remarks to become a relativizing discourse on the happiness and customs of the people. From this point of view, it followed in the critical tradition originating with the second-century sophist Lucian of Samosata, which was still flourishing in France in the seventeenth century. We find such a tradition echoed again, for example, in 1676, in the works of libertine novelists such as Foigny and Veiras,-^ who criticized European values and morals through the eyes of Australian aboriginals. The critical discourse on the Reasoning Savage reached its height in 1703, when Baron Lahontan made his Huron, Adario, represent his own critique of the French orthodoxies and 'ways of living.' Since the work is too well known to dwell on its importance here,5 we will emphasize only one, usually neglected, aspect of the accusations brought against Europe by the Savage. The Degeneration of the Savage Paradoxically, just beneath the surface of Lahontan's criticism of French values and behaviour lay the accusation that the Savage had degenerated because of the European. This affirmation first appeared as an incidental, essentially moralizing, remark. When he wanted to show the progress of the missionary work that had lifted the 'very thick night covering all these regions with horror,' the Jesuit Paul Le Jeune, who was not very sympathetic towards the sauvages, wrote in his 1636 Relation: The din of Palaces, the great uproar of Lawyers, Litigants, and Solicitors is heard here only at a thousand leagues' distance. Exactions,

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deceits, thefts, rapes, assassinations, treachery, enmity, black malice, are seen here only once a year, in the letters and Gazettes which people bring from Old France' (JR 9: 138-40). If we took these lines literally, we might believe that evil did not come from Adam and Eve's original sin but was brought from France, along with various devastating diseases, by the French themselves, despite the fact that they were pretending to lead the Savages to salvation. This interpretation was confirmed by a comment made later by a Caribbean missionary, the Dominican Jean-Baptiste Du Tertre, according to whom the Caribbean Natives 'know almost nothing of malice but what the French have taught them' (Du Tertre 1654, 399)While one must be careful to consider these notions as moral observations only, without specific social relevance, one cannot say the same about some of the denunciations of the French and Canadians who trafficked in brandy with the Natives. From 1632, his first year in the colony, onward Le Jeune noted: 'in fact, since I have been here, I have seen only drunken Savages; they are heard shouting and raving day and night, they fight and wound each other, they kill the cattle of madame Hebert' (//?5: 48-50). In 1679, against the advice of the Bishop of Quebec and of the missionaries who advocated a total ban on the brandy trade among the Amerindians, the court promulgated an order authorizing the trade in French settlements.6 Laymen did not hesitate to denounce the disintegrating effects of alcohol on Amerindian social life. While he recognized the beneficial effects of the missionary undertaking, Nicolas Denys in 1672 presented a sombre assessment of the French influence on the Amerindians. The last chapter of his Histoire naturelle, devoted in large part to the introduction of brandy in Amerindian societies, clearly illustrated the degeneration of the Native, who had become a bad hunter, violent, poor, and sometimes criminal in his drunkenness. The degradation is even more obvious in the case of women, 'who are thieves and cheats, and have no longer their former purity' (Denys [1672] 1908, 450). Denys assigned most of the responsibility for these new vices to fishermen and captains wishing to become wealthy from the traffic in alcohol. He noted as well the bad influence of conflict among the French themselves, motivated by ambition and envy, which incited the Natives to steal: '"Do [you] not take your establishments one from another," they say to us, "and do [you] not kill one another for that purpose; have we not seen you do it, and why are you not willing that we should do it? If one is not willing to give it to us, we will take it"' (451). To correct these problems, Denys

The Amerindian in the Accounts of Travel to America


proposed a paradoxical solution: to drown the Amerindian population in a huge immigration of French settlers, despite the fact that the Jesuits felt it was necessary to isolate their mission from the rest of the colony. Denys's condemnation of Native behaviour was echoed by Chrestien Le Clercq in 1691, who attributed the degeneration of the Mi'kmaq to alcohol, and denounced brandy as the main obstacle to conversion (Le Clercq [1691] 1910, 254-8). If Denys and Le Clerq accused the Europeans of corrupting the Gaspesians, Antoine Simon Le Page du Pratz, like Adario half a century earlier, condemned them through an old Natchez in Louisiana, who wished to convince his compatriots to attack the French. Only the old man could evoke the Natives' original state, denounce the transformations engendered by contact with the Europeans, and caution young people not to let themselves be seduced and subjugated; he alone had the moral authority to demand liberty and dignity in the name of his people: For a long time now, we have noticed that the proximity of Frenchmen does us more harm than good; we see it, we the Elders, but the young people do not see it. The Frenchmen's Merchandise pleases the young; but what is it all good for, except to debauch the girls & corrupt the Nation's blood, & to make [the girls] prideful and lazy? The young men are in the same situation: & the married men must kill themselves with work to feed their family & satisfy their children. (Le Page du Pratz 1758, 3: 238)

The old man's revulsion allowed the author to put forth his own criticism of the French commander sent to govern the Natchez, and to demonstrate his insight, since he had predicted everything (231). Corruption spread even further among the Natchez through the experience of war, because it provoked 'too familiar a contact with the French' (329); 'this familiarity allows for vice, from which stem dangerous illnesses & the corruption of the blood which is naturally very pure in this colony; the people who come in contact with the Naturals think they have permission to commit vice because it is customary to offer women to guests when they arrive; this does ill to their health & their Merchandise' (330). The flaws of European civilization had managed to catch up with the Savage, even in the depth of his distant American forest. Another of Le Page du Pratz's Natchez personalities, Serpent Pique, listed the deceptive advantages of the coming of the French, asking whether the blankets and guns were worth the loss of their land and


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wheat. The conclusion did not leave any doubt: according to Serpent Pique, 'before the arrival of the French, we lived like men who knew how to content themselves with what they had; instead, today, we walk as Slaves who do not do what they wish' (Le Page du Pratz 1758, i: 205). Rousseau had said it forcefully a few years earlier: a society cannot turn back once it has known the poisoned seduction of civilization. Ten years after Le Page du Pratz, the Dutchman Cornelius De Pauw discussed the subject of Amerindian degeneration at length, in a published debate with Antoine-Joseph Pernety. For De Pauw, the degeneration of the Amerindians, in the North as in the South, was undeniable and 'progressive'; it attacked the 'physical and moral faculties.' This degeneration even affected Europeans who spent time in America (De Pauw 1770, Defence, 10-14), the animals (78-104), and the plants (11118). No expression was too strong or too contemptuous to describe the Savages: they were stupid (233), moronic (19), pusillanimous (15), cruel (53); their women were ugly (19) and barren (25); they were prone to all sorts of diseases, including the venereal (35); it was 'animal instinct' and not brains that 'teach[es] the Savage to build a hut, sleep with his mate, raise his children, speak, live from hunting and fishing, or from wild fruit according to the products indigenous to the area, defend himself against his enemies or attack them' (251). For De Pauw, Native degeneration came not from the Europeans, but from the 'inclemency of the climate' (10) and perhaps also from 'the blood of this pusillanimous race' (15). The harshness of this judgment is less striking than the new point of view - very different from the majority of authors - according to which de Pauw saw the Amerindian as subjected to a heavy biological, geographical, and historical determinism (see Roelens 1972; Ouellet and Beaulieu in Lahontan [1702-3] 1990). This vehement affirmation around 1770 of the Amerindian's degeneration formed part of the development of philosophical treatises turned resolutely towards progress and technical development. Yet, at the same time, primitivist discourse continued to present the Savage as a stable and ahistorical entity. Pierre Berthiaume, studying the writings of Turgot and Condorcet, rightly speaks of 'the Savage's deliquescence,' in as much as the primitive figure can no longer be located on the axis of humanity's continuous progress. For Turgot and Condorcet, as in the Encyclopedic,7 he was absent, or rather he became an 'aberration, quickly erased in order to create a new human model, one who would illustrate the economic postulates on which rested the new conception of the world' (Berthiaume 1993, 198). It is significant, in this regard, that in his

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letters from Canada in 1757-8, the young Bougainville, steeped in the dominant philosophical values, often represented the Amerindians as bloodthirsty monsters, cannibalistic barbarians, entirely opposite to his happy and kindly Tahitians of 1771 (Melancon 1996). If representations of both the Good and the Cruel Savage hearken back to the myth of the lost paradise, we begin to see the Reasoning Native, denouncer of European civilization, as the spokesperson for Europe's criticism of itself. The Degenerate Native, victim of a civilization held in contempt, then becomes the echo of a guilty conscience. It is in this sense that, as part of our collective unconscious, the image returns to haunt us today, in the increasing number of situations in which both the descendants of the European colonizers and the descendants of the American Savages of the seventeenth century maintain that the Amerindian is the victim of the white man's wickedness. Though the idea of this degeneration is fading progressively as new research defines more precisely the role of the Amerindian in American history, certain representations still persist. For example, the recent association between the Amerindians and the ecological movement recalls the Savage Philosopher, faithful to the values of the natural state. But by reclaiming this message, are the Amerindians themselves not conforming to the old stereotype of the 'natural' wise man, guardian of the earth and appointed critic of civilization (H. Tanner and Sioui 1994; Fixico 1994)? Who is to distinguish between the ethnographic reality and the fictive work of myth? Are the myths of the good Savage and of the Savage as a refraction of the Other's imperialism based on the existence of a real Amerindian, or does such a figure actually exist outside language and subjectivity? NOTES 1 See, for example, the title of Olive P. Dickason's well-known book, The Myth of the Savage and the Beginnings of French Colonialism in the Americas (1984). 2 See, for example, Columbus 1960, 29, 36, 41, 52. 3 See, however, the passage on the monstrous Armouchiquois he had heard about, 'who are savages of quite monstrous shape: for their head is small and their body short, their arms and likewise their thighs slender like those of a skeleton, their legs thick and long, and of the same size all the way down; and when they sit upon their heels, their knees are higher by half a foot than their

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4 5

6 7

head, which is a strange thing, and they seem to be out of the course of nature' (Champlain 1922-36, i: 181). See Foigny 1676; Veiras 1676-8. See the long introduction by Real Ouellet and Alain Beaulieu to their edition of Louis-Armand de Lorn d'Arce, Baron de Lahontan, Oeuvres completes ([Lahontan 1702-3] 1990). On this subject, see A. Vachon on Francois de Laval (Vachon 1969); Stanley 1953» 492-8; Eastman 1915, 72-82, 122-34, 179-201. On the Encyclopedic?, lack of interest in North America and the Amerindians, see Ouellet and Beaulieu's introduction to Lahontan [1702-3] 1990.

PART III Translatio fide

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Few, Uncooperative, and 111 Informed? The Roman Catholic Clergy in French and British North America, 1610-1658 Luca Codignola

The resolutions of the Council of Trent (1545-63) signalled a new awareness of the spiritual needs of the Catholic faithful, both in Europe and abroad, and the beginning of an in-depth reorganization of all missionary activities. North America became part of this movement in the early seventeenth century, when the French and the British began to settle in the New World. The years from 1563 to 1632 witnessed the earliest phase of evangelical activity in North America, which ended around 1629, when the English briefly conquered Quebec. This first phase included the earliest Recollet and Jesuit missions in both New France and the Avalon colony in Newfoundland. The second phase, 1632 to 1659, included the Jesuit missions in Canada, Acadia, and Maryland; the Capuchin and Recollet missions in Acadia; and the initiatives of the French devots — the last group being lay men and women who devoted their lives to the cause of Christianity, often as part of a community, although they elected not to embrace any ecclesiastical status as priests or nuns. This phase ended with the arrival of the vicar apostolic of Canada, Francois de Laval, later first bishop of Quebec, which signalled the end of the period in which the conversion of the Amerindians was the main priority of the European clergy in French and British North America. Later, the need to maintain the True Faith among the European community replaced the earlier enthusiasm for missionary work and the ill-founded hope for an easy evangelization of all Amerindians (Codignola 1995). The topic of Native conversions and missionary endeavours has been closely studied in recent years. Yet the creation of the North American Catholic network - the flow of people, objects, and ideas characterizing Catholicism on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean - is still little known.

174 Luca Codignola

Historians have usually focused on missionary activity in North America, or on the atmosphere of religious awakening that pervaded Europe for about a hundred years after the Council of Trent, but rarely have they worked on both at the same time (Deslandres 1989, 1990, 1993; Prosper! 1982; Tallon 1990, 1993). Furthermore, by relying almost exclusively on the available literary sources, such as the so-called Jesuit relations (known mostly through American historian Reuben Gold Thwaites's very incomplete edition; see Codignola 1996), or on accounts such as those of the Franciscan Recollet lay brother Gabriel Sagard (i632a, 1636), the Capuchin Pacifique de Provins (Rene de 1'Escale) (1646), or the Jesuit Andrew White (1633, 1634), historians have amplified the extent of the influence of these works. They have used them as matterof-course evidence of extensive missionary activity in North America, and have lost track of the individuals who composed them, as if these men and women were very numerous and as if they acted in unison under the Holy See's overall guidance. But were they really that numerous? Did they really cooperate, as latter-day historians have all too often taken for granted? And how extensive was the influence of the printed missionary literature? Some sparse evidence exists showing that a few priests accompanied the exploring expeditions and the French and Basque fishing fleets between 1497 and 1604. Although the general conversion of the Amerindians was a proclaimed objective of all exploring and colonizing expeditions, these priests, like the crews to which they ministered, had hardly any interest in the Amerindians. In fact, systematic plans to carry over to the Americas 'our holy Christian faith and Holy Mother the Catholic church' (Biggar 1930, 207-9; my translation) were not implemented or even attempted in the course of the sixteenth century. In the first decade of the seventeenth century, however, the needs of the Amerindians slowly began to take precedence over those of the fishing crews. The first priest who was recruited not for the fishing ships, but for the conversion of the Amerindians - the Mi'kmaq of Acadia - was the secular priest Jesse Fleche, who in 1610 spent some weeks in the newly founded colony of Port-Royal. Some years previously, in 1604, the king of France, Henri iv, had asked the Society of Jesus for two missionaries who were to accompany the fishing fleet to the Grand Banks to take advantage of the new opportunities for the 'conversion of that vast continent that is called New France, Norumbega, Canada and Bacalaos' (Campeau 196794, i:5).'

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Between 1611 and 1613 a Jesuit mission existed in Acadia, and eleven years later another mission of the order was established in Quebec, which lasted from 1625 to 1629, when the English for a time conquered the French colony. In the first three decades of the seventeenth century, a total of eighteen Jesuits left France to go to Quebec and Acadia. At that time, the Society of Jesus, which had been founded in 1534 and approved in 1540, had missions all over Europe, besides those in Asia and in Iberian America (Szilas 1990, 58*, 78). The Society of Jesus was not the only order involved in the early days of New France. Between 1615 and 1625 twenty-one Recollets were sent to Quebec. The Recollets were a branch of the Order of Friars Minor, also known as Franciscans. Like the Jesuits, they were actively involved in missionary work in France and abroad. In Spanish America they were among the earliest and most active orders, with several hundred convents (Iriarte 1983, 303-45). In the i6ios and 16205 the idea of taking advantage of the settlement of North America to establish Catholic missions was not the concern of French missionaries alone. The planting of an English colony, the Avalon settlement in Newfoundland, was contemporary with the earliest Jesuit and Recollet attempts in New France. George Calvert, Baron Baltimore and a Catholic member of the English Privy Council, had to accommodate both Protestants and Catholics in Ferryland, the centre of his colony. This provided an opening for Catholic missionaries, five of whom (three secular priests and two Jesuits) went to Newfoundland between 1627 and 1629 (Codignola 1988). The second phase of the expansion of Catholicism in North America, between 1632 and 1658, represents quite diverse forms of religious organization. A 'regular order' is a community of priests who also follow a special set of 'rules' (hence 'regular') that have been approved by the pope. Orders usually subdivide their territory into 'provinces,' whose chief administrator is known as the 'provincial.' Secular priests are not members of any order and, as such, they are under the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese in which they live. Some secular priests, such as the Sulpicians, live together as a community, but do not regard themselves as a 'regular order.' Canada proper was in effect a French Jesuit province, although the missionary field was not reserved to them. Acadia from 1630 to 1658 was an open field in which Recollets, Capuchins, and Jesuits all tried their lot. Maryland was the only province in British North America where, from 1633 to 1645, there was a Jesuit presence resembling the experiment among the Huron. 2 After 1632 the Jesuits in New France grew in number, though not as

176 Luca Codignola

much as one might expect. From 1632 to 1658, inclusive, sixty-two of them left France for either Canada or Acadia. These figures must be placed in their context. According to its own records, the Society of Jesus boasted 15,544 priests in 1616, to whom 13,104 students, at various levels, must be added. In 1653 it had a little less than 1,000 missionaries around the world, of whom the highest number (381) were in continental Europe and the lowest (9) in Scotland (Synopsis historiae 1950). As the Recollets did not return to Canada until 1670, for about a quarter of a century (1632-57) the Jesuits were the only male missionaries in that colony, where they shared their mission with a small group of eight secular priests who had joined the colony for personal reasons or to attend to the needs of the female religious community. In 1657, three priests and one deacon belonging to the Sulpicians, secular priests living as a community, joined them in Canada and settled in Montreal. As for the female congregations, from 1639 to 1657 eleven Ursulines and fifteen Augustines Hospitalieres de la Misericorde de Jesus crossed the ocean to work in New France. If in Canada the Jesuits had no rivals, in Acadia the Society shared the territory with one cordelier (a branch of the Franciscans), the Recollets (1630-45), and the Capuchins (1632-58). Information about the Recollets is so scanty and imprecise that we do not even know whether their six or so missionaries to Acadia ever tried to minister to the Amerindians. As for the Capuchins, it is difficult to know in detail the history of their mission in North America. In fact, their failure to impress later historians, who devote so much attention to their Jesuit contemporaries in Canada, is due mainly to the fact that the latter have produced vast written sources, whereas sources describing the former are either lost or unknown. Yet the Capuchins were at the time among the most powerful of the regular orders, and were engaged in missions in Europe and overseas. In 1596 there were 660 Capuchin convents in Europe alone, with 7,230 members. The Capuchin province of Paris, whose responsibility included Acadia and which was in 1632 only one among ten French provinces, had 745 members, of whom only 202 were lay brothers. In their first attempt to establish a mission, from three to six Capuchins were in La Heve from 1632 to about 1635. Their second attempt was much more successful and lasted almost twenty years, from 1639 to 1658 (the year of the English conquest of Acadia). The Capuchin mission in Acadia consisted of Port-Royal, Riviere Saintjean, Pentagouet, lie du Cap-Breton, and Baie des Chaleurs. These establishments were served by as many as fifty-seven Capuchins, a small number, yet much more

Catholic Clergy in French and British North America 177

substantial than it is usually thought, and almost identical to that of their Jesuit contemporaries in Acadia. We also know that, like the Jesuits in Acadia, the Capuchins devoted most of their time to the conversion of the Mi'kmaq, although their overall achievement was quite modest (Campeau 1967-94, 6: 389). Maryland's short-lived experiment with Catholicism was a direct outcome of the failure of Lord Baltimore's aborted Avalon colony. In 1633 three Jesuits accompanied one of George Calvert's sons, Leonard Calvert, to the newly founded colony of Maryland. Like all missionaries, they started off with the idea of converting the local Amerindians, but after the Virginia Protestants invaded the colony in 1645 they contented themselves with the already difficult task of keeping the faith among their few co-religionists. Their lives were very difficult and their success almost nil (Axtell 1986). It seems that fourteen Jesuits were sent to Maryland between 1633 and 1645. In 1638 the province had five of them in the colony at the same time. In the same year, the total number of Jesuits who were under the jurisdiction of the English province was 506 (of whom 237 were priests and 44 lay brothers), in addition to 225 students at various levels. These North American figures are not unreasonable when placed in their proper North Atlantic context. In fact, the proportion of priests and nuns who were active in North America and their counterparts who remained in Europe is strikingly in line with the difference in population between the colonies and their mother countries. France had 16,000,000 inhabitants in the early seventeenth century, whereas the whole of New France had 1,206 French residents in 1650 and about 3,000 in 1660. As for the Huron, the celebrated target of the Jesuit missionary efforts, the entire nation consisted of some 18,000 to 21,000 individuals in 1636. (Their number would be cut almost in half by the epidemics of 1636-9.) For its part, Newfoundland had almost no European inhabitants at the time of Lord Baltimore's venture in the 16208, and in 1660 the Upper South (that is, Maryland and Virginia) of the British continental colonies, where most of the English-speaking Catholics resided at that time, had 24,000 residents of European origin. In contrast, at mid-century, England and Wales alone had 8,250,000 inhabitants. Those who were involved in the evangelization of French and British North America took it for granted that they were part of God's grand design. However, they differed in almost every other respect. Indeed, the general picture is one of ecclesiastical anarchy. The group alle-

178 Luca Codignola

giances of the missionaries were much more significant in practical terms than their common membership in the Catholic Church. The Holy See exercised very little control over the initiatives that were taken to send missionaries to French and British North America, in spite of the fact that territories that were outside the Christian world and not part of any diocese were considered mission territories and reserved to the sole jurisdiction of the pope. The first successful attempt of the Holy See to coordinate missionary activities and to centralize information on foreign lands came in 1622 with the establishment of the Sacred Congregation 'de Propaganda Fide.' This department had the double task of spreading the True Faith among the infidels and of protecting it where Catholics lived side by side with non-Catholics. At the beginning of their activity, the cardinals of the Sacred Congregation had no jurisdiction over Iberian America, and until 1625 they were almost completely unaware of the French and English activities in North America (Codignola 1988, 2i). Until the appointment of Laval in 1657, Propaganda Fide struggled hard, and with little success, to keep abreast of what was going on in the New World. In 1641 it even tried unsuccessfully to dispatch a secular priest, Charles Camus Duperon, 'to report on the behaviour of the local ecclesiastics.'^ As we have seen, most of the missionary initiatives were in the hands of the regular orders, namely, the Recollets, the Jesuits, and the Capuchins. Of these, only the latter had a good relationship with Propaganda Fide and kept it informed on a fairly regular basis. In fact, the Capuchin mission had been the direct result of a plan devised in 1630 by the secretary of Propaganda Fide, Francesco Ingoli, and the spiritual leader of the Capuchin order, Joseph de Paris (Francois-Joseph Du Tremblay) (Campeau 1967-94, 2: 279-80). The relationship between the Society of Jesus and Propaganda Fide was particularly strained. From the time of the establishment of the new coordinating agency, the Jesuits had insisted on the privilege of the same faculties (that is, spiritual power to consecrate altars, to absolve from matrimonial impediments, arid so on) in North America that were accorded to them in the East Indies. For its part, Propaganda maintained that faculties were granted to all missionaries on an equal basis, and that the Jesuits were not a special case. As far as North America was concerned, when it had become clear that its earliest overtures had led nowhere, Propaganda Fide for all purposes lost contact with New France and had to wait until the 16505 to receive further information on Canada from the Society of Jesus. Examples of jealousy between the secular clergy and the regulars

Catholic Clergy in French and British North America


abound throughout the early phase of the history of New France. Jean de Biencourt, better known as Sieur de Poutrincourt, brought the secular priest Fleche to Acadia in order to prevent the Jesuits from being sent to his colony. For their part, the Society of Jesus used its court connections to overrule Sieur de Poutrincourt's family and go to PortRoyal, where they promptly criticized Fleche's missionary methods and the laymen's easy-going manners (Campeau 1967-94, 2: i9O*-2i6*, 203-50). The dispute between the secular clergy and the regular orders was all too well known in Europe. That it did not produce any major trauma in North America was because there were almost no secular clergy in the colonies until the arrival of Laval in 1659. Yet right from the time of his selection as future bishop, Laval met with the opposition of the Sulpicians, who were, in all but their canonical constitutions, very much a regular order. In fact, Laval had been hurriedly selected as a candidate for the soon-to-be-established bishopric of Quebec by the Jesuits, who gave him their support because they feared that the Societe de Notre-Dame de Montreal, the devot group that was established in 1639 and that in 1642 had founded Montreal without bothering to inform the Society of Jesus, would manage to have someone they favoured appointed to the position (Campeau 1974, 64-6). There were also differences and jealousies between regular orders, each trying to secure full jurisdiction and exclusive rights over new missions at the expense of other orders. Rather then seeking cooperation with each other, they seemed to avoid it as much as possible. The Jesuits and the Recollets got along well only for a very short time, when the latter received and lodged the Jesuits in their Quebec convent of SaintCharles in 1625 (Sagard 1636, 869; Campeau 1967-94, 2: 146, 176-7). The presence of both groups in Quebec was owing simply to overlapping influences within the French court. The Queen Mother's first dame d'honneur, Antoinette de Pons, Marquise de Guercheville, was influential in selecting the first Jesuits who were sent to Acadia in 1611, whereas proximity to the court probably favoured the Recollet province of Paris over that of Aquitaine in 1615. No common plan for evangelization of the Amerindians was ever devised. Relations between the two branches of the Franciscan family, the Recollets and the Capuchins, were even worse. For one thing, it is most likely that the exclusion of the Recollets from Canada in 1632 was due to the Capuchins, and not to the Jesuits, as a Recollet tradition that originated long after the events would have had it (Le Tac [1689] 1888; Le Clercq 1691; Dube 1995). Joseph de Paris had been so persuasive that in

180 Luca Codignola

January 1632 Richelieu had granted the whole of New France to the Capuchins, who, however, declined the offer to become involved in Canada and kept only Acadia for themselves (Campeau 1967-94, 2: 2736). When in March 1633 Richelieu ordered all Recollets in Acadia to leave the mission to their fellow Franciscans, so as to avoid 'the problems that might arise from the mingling of persons of different allegiances in that country,' 4 they refused to leave. Then the two branches of the Franciscan family became enmeshed in a civil war that set them in opposition. Since Charles de Saint-Etienne de La Tour was retaining his Recollets, the Capuchins felt they had little choice but to support La Tour's rival, Charles de Menou d'Aulnay (MacDonald 1983, 208 n.6). The order of the Minims never went to New France, but their permission to go to North America had spelled out that they could reside only where no other regular order was already active. Had they succeeded in their project, one could only guess that a fourth contestant would have positioned itself in the same arena.5 There were also differences within the same orders. The Recollet provinces of Paris and Aquitaine very strongly opposed each other in their respective North American projects, actually hindering each other's progress. The Recollets of Aquitaine had not been ready to go to New France in 1614, so their place had been taken by the Recollets of Paris. The former then turned to Acadia, where they resided from 1620 to 1624. The only contact between the Recollets of Acadia and their confreres in Quebec seems to have been in the winter 1624—5, when three of the Acadians took refuge in Quebec in order to return to France at the earliest opportunity. As for the Capuchins, the death of Joseph de Paris in 1638 created problems within their province of Paris, of which he was the real leader, although he was not, officially, its provincial. In fact, his death created problems in the whole of France, as he was considered overall leader by all the French Capuchin provinces. A bitter struggle ensued in which a 'Roman' party (that is, one on good terms with Propaganda Fide) and a 'local' party contended for overall leadership. The power of that province within France was constantly being eroded by other French provinces, such as Touraine (separated 1610), Burgundy (1618), Brittany (1629), Normandy (1629), and Aquitaine (1640), all of which resented the central leadership of Paris and had only recently managed to be recognized as independent bodies (Raoul de Sccaux 1965, 261574). At stake was the control of the province's foreign missions in Greece, England, Palestine, and Canada. As for Canada, the fact that a

Catholic Clergy in French and British North America


Capuchin might be sent and then recalled - or begged to be recalled seems more closely linked to his membership in the party in power within the province's current leadership, than to the progress of missionary work with the Amerindians. Finally, as did the Recollets, the Jesuits took special care to avoid the simultaneous presence of confreres of different provinces in contiguous mission fields. When in 1628 the suggestion was made to entrust a new mission in Acadia to the Jesuit province of Aquitaine, the general of the Society, Muzio Vitelleschi, refused to comply, on the ground that New France had been entrusted 'for many years' to the province of Paris, and that all occasions of jurisdictional jealousies must be avoided (Campeau 1967-94, 2: 197-9). Yet, the plentiful sources of the Society of Jesus have revealed that, even within an order usually deemed monolithic in the extreme, there were differences and jealousies. Barthelemi Vimont, who had problems with fellow Jesuit Paul Ragueneau, was recalled in 1659. Ragueneau himself then returned to France, together with JosephAntoine Poncet de La Riviere, because they had been engaged in political controversy. We do not know the reason for the sudden departure from Canada of Amable de Fretat, who spent only one winter in the colony, but we know that Nicolas Adam was reputed to be 'the worst possible choice for the Canadian mission' (Campeau 1967-94, 2: 798). Most important of all, within each order there was open opposition to any involvement in the North American missions, something that certainly contributed to the small numbers of missionaries who actually set foot there. Jesuits, Recollets, and Capuchins strongly believed that their prime objective was the war against Protestant influence within France itself. As one Jesuit applicant was told in 1620, 'Here [i.e., in France] you will find New France, Constantinople, and the remote places of which you write, or, to put it in an even clearer fashion, here you will find souls to which you could extend your zeal with great results' (Campeau 196794, 2: 40-1). At any rate, for those who felt a special interest in the foreign missions, Asia or Spanish and Portuguese territories came well before Canada or Acadia, where missionary activity seemed something of a waste of time. The project of the Discalced Carmelite known in religion as Simon Stock (Thomas Doughty) to establish a mission in Avalon - where he did not himself want to go - met with opposition from the superiors of his order and from most of his confreres. They considered Avalon a waste of time, concentrated their efforts on their Middle East missions, and consequently tried to discredit Stock's project. For example, they doctored a report on Newfoundland that they had received

182 Luca Codignola

from one of Stock's companions in England, Bede of the Blessed Sacrament (John Hiccocks), and forwarded to Propaganda Fide a version of it so garbled that it made Stock's project meaningless (Codignola 1988, 26-9). The Capuchin Pacifique de Provins, who had been appointed prefect of the Capuchin missions in 'all places in North America where French shall be, and in the whole of New France,'6 declared that he had no intention of going to such a wasteland, and managed instead to be sent to Guadeloupe. How did prospective missionaries acquire information about their North American destinations? Some printed material was available to prospective missionaries and the devout public alike. Jesuit Pierre Biard's 1616 report was soon published, and there was immediate need for a new edition, though in the event it was never printed. In fact, the major difference between the first (1611-29) and the second phase (1632-58) of the Jesuit mission in North America was the new acquaintance of the French confreres with the daily experiences of their fellow missionaries labouring in Canada. This was made possible by the printing and circulating of the so-called Jesuit relations. The Jesuit relations were inaugurated in 1632 by the superior Paul Lejeune at the end of his first summer in Canada. The periodic issue of the Relations and their late-nineteenth-century publication within a corpus of seventy-three volumes have made the Jesuit experience in New France the best known of all missionary activities in North America, to contemporaries and to historians alike. Written reports on the activity of missionaries had always existed. Yet what had been throughout the Middle Ages and the pre-Tridentine period the occasional result of a missionary's or diplomat's own initiative now became a regular activity of the members of the Society of Jesus under the influence of its founder, Ignacio (Inigo) de Loyola, and of his earliest missionaries in Asia. They believed that information on mission territories had to be systematically centralized and shared by all members of the order. Among other things, these reports could be used, after careful editing, to excite the enthusiasm of new missionaries and to serve some fundraising purposes (Codignola and Pizzorusso 1996). No relations, however, were produced by the Jesuit mission in Maryland. For that colony, the available printed literature consists only of two small pamphlets that publicized the venture and that were produced in 1633 (only a few months prior to the departure of three Jesuits to the colony) and 1634. The first was the eight-page Declaration of the Lord Balternore's Plantation, written by Andrew White, the first superior, and

Catholic Clergy in French and British North America 183 revised by the second Baron Baltimore and second proprietor of Maryland, Cecil Calvert. (Some excerpts were translated and reached Propaganda Fide, but had no visible effects in Rome.) The second pamphlet was White's fourteen-page Relation of the Success/nil Beginnings of the Lord Baltemore's Plantation. One could well maintain that there was no major difference between the French Jesuit missions in Canada and Acadia and the English Jesuit mission in Maryland - except for the celebrity of the first two, mainly due to the printing of their Relations.1 It appears that the Recollets compiled annual reports similar to those later produced by the Jesuits, yet only one of them has come down to us, via Sagard. The principal printed source of information about the Recollets is the two books written by Sagard himself, who spent only one winter (1623-4) in Canada. The subsequent availability of his accounts (Sagard 16323, 1636) has blinded later historians to the fact that they do not know how much these accounts circulated among Sagard's contemporaries. In reality, we know almost nothing of what the other Recollets did during or thought of their experience in Canada. The Capuchins were almost ten times more numerous than the Recollets, but again nothing was published on their Acadian experience. One should compare this silence with the great success enjoyed by the books of their confreres Claude d'Abbeville (Clement Foullon) (1612, i6i4a, i6i4b) and Yves d'Evreux (1615) relating their Brazilian experiences, published only a generation before, or with the attitude of Pacifique de Provins, who refused to go to Acadia but who, immediately upon his return from the West Indies, wrote a book to tell the world of the wonderful new opportunities to enlarge God's vineyard (Pacifique de Provins 1646). In this article, I have briefly addressed the issues of the number of the missionary clergy in French and British North America between 1610 and 1658, of the cooperation among them, and of the influence of printed missionary literature. Before any firm conclusion can be reached, however, we need an in-depth prosopographical account of the ecclesiastical personnel in early North America - their geographical, family, and educational background, the rationale behind their departure, the length of their stay, the careers of those who returned to Europe, and, finally, the spreading of knowledge regarding the New World and its influence over their choices. For the time being, available figures show that the number of people who were involved in the evangelization of North America, on both

184 Luca Codignola

sides of the Atlantic Ocean, was very small. Only 190-193 male and 26 female members of the clergy, at all levels (including the lay brothers and the converse [lay] sisters), voluntarily went or were forcibly sent to North America between 1610 and 1658. For almost half a century, the members of the clergy who left European ports for North America averaged not more than four a year. Considering the massive influence claimed for them, this is a very low figure even when, to account for the inaccuracy of the available data, we double it by estimating that there were others who might have manifested some wish to go. As for cooperation, it would certainly be too much to say that there was none at all among the ecclesiastical personnel. Hostility and dissent, however, were almost as evident. The Holy See - that is, mainly the Sacred Congregation 'de Propaganda Fide' - had little control over what was going on in North America. For their part, the Jesuits, the Recollets, and the Capuchins did their utmost to exclude fellow missionaries from the territories they believed it was their rightful duty to administer. Furthermore, available evidence points to the fact that most of the information relating to the North American missions circulated through personal contacts and byword of mouth among groups of people who might have been interested, but represented a very limited sample of the European missionaries, let alone of the European clergy. Printed missionary literature, when it existed at all, seems to have had little influence on the prospective missionaries. Historians need to come to terms with the available evidence: there was far less European interest than we have assumed in the evangelization of French and British North America. NOTES 1 All translations from Campeau are my own. 2 This summary is based mainly on archival material that is surveyed in full in my articles 'Competing Networks: Roman Catholic Ecclesiastics in French North America, 1610-58' (Codignola iQ99a) and 'Roman Catholic Ecclesiastics in English North America, 1610-58: A Comparative Assessment' (Codignola 19990). 3 Rome, Archives of the Sacred Congregation de 'Propaganda Fide' (hereafter APF), Scritture Original! rife rite nelle Congregazioni Generali (hereafter SOCG), vol. 402, ff. 2OO'~V, 2O2r~v, Charles Camus Duperon [to Propaganda Fide, Lyon, January 1641].

Catholic Clergy in French and British North America 185 4 Paris, Archives du Ministere des Affaires-Etrangeres, Memoires et documents, Amerique. vol. 4, f. I24r~v, Louis xm to Claude Bouthillier, 16 March 1633. 5 APF, Acta, vol. 17, f. gov, General Congregation of Propaganda Fide, 7 May 1646. 6 APF, Acta, vol. 15, ff. 29v-3Or, General Congregation of Propaganda Fide, Rome, 14 February 1642. 7 There are manuscript excepts from White 1633 in APF, SOCG, vol. 347, ff. 376'-77v-

Canada in Seventeenth-Century Jesuit Thought: Backwater or Opportunity? Peter A. Goddard

Old France could have been like the New, if God hadn 't viewed it more favourably. Who does not feel obliged to thank God for having made our condition better than that of the savages ? Francois Annat, SJ, 1644

French religious orders were embarrassingly late to take up the apostolic mission that characterized early modern Catholicism. To thejesuits' 1604 request for a posting to the New World, Henri iv is reputed to have replied that 'their Indies were in France' (Campeau 1967-94, i: 198); missions d Vinterieur to renovate dilapidated Catholicism would preoccupy the Society of Jesus in the seventeenth century. Jesuits were active in Acadia from 1611 to 1613, but arrived in the 'nouvelle France' of the St Lawrence basin only in 1625, a century after Franciscan and Dominican missions were launched in New Spain. While Spanish America seemed crowded with missionaries, Canada would attract a derisory number: three Jesuits in 1632, and only sixty-two by 1658 (see Codignola, elsewhere in this volume). Tagging so far behind their Iberian counterparts, French Jesuits faced a different and less promising situation. Compared to well-peopled Meso-America, with its agricultural base and its highly developed communications, Canada was sparsely populated and difficult of access. To the north the boreal forest (largely coniferous) supported hunting-and-gathering peoples whose condition seemed to the missionaries barely above that of the beasts, while the settled horticultural peoples of the Carolinian forest farther south epitomized pagan decadence. In 1627, Charles Lalement suggested the scale of the challenge of converting the Amerindians: 'With regard to their way of life, it is enough

Canada in Seventeenth-Century Jesuit Thought 187

to say that they are completely savage. From morning to night they have no other care than to fill their stomach ... Vices of the flesh are common among them, such that one marries several women, and leaves them whenever he feels like it, to take others ... Cleanliness is unknown among them ... They have neither religion [culte divin], nor any sort of prayers' (Campeau 1967-94, 2: 141-3, author's translations throughout; see also Codignola 1995, 204-5). To the usual linguistic and cultural barriers were added subsistence concerns and the dangers of Huron-Iroquois warfare. Nor did the home front support the missionary campaign. Until JeanBaptiste Colbert adopted a policy of colonial expansion in the i66os, French ministers were unenthusiastic about northern colonial venture, and the reading public preferred Oriental exotica to boreal gloom.1 Worse yet, from the point of view of religious conversion, an 'Augustinian backlash' or reaction against liberal doctrines of salvation, animated those educated milieux that sustained Christian reform activity (Briggs 1989, 239; Brockliss 1987, 247; Williams 1989, 7-29, 90-3). Early devotsstern and moralizing enthusiasts of Catholic reform - and then after 1640 followers of the rigorous Flemish bishop Cornelius Jansen, promoted a puritanical vision that saw religious conversion as profound inner transformation. Their obsession with sin and with religious purity confined the missionary impulse by characterizing true Christian life as restricted to the devoted, predestined few, and by setting impossibly high standards of religious conduct. While Jesuits were formally committed to combatting this bleak view of salvation, their own position was precarious: French elites were suspicious of 'ultramontanism,' or Roman influence, and France was hostile towards Spain, the spiritual home of the Society of Jesus. This uncomfortable political situation forced Jesuits to downplay their attachment to the optimistic creed of 'finding God in all things,' which had animated the society's activity since its inception in 1540 (Chatellier 1993, 22-58; Gentilcore 1994; Duverger 1987, 161-8; Cervantes 1994, 10-16). Perhaps reflecting this pessimistic religious climate, fewer Jesuits than expected embraced the challenge of mission work in New France (Deslandres 1993, 5-10; Codignola, in this volume). How did this inauspicious climate influence the Jesuits' thinking about Canada? This essay examines the appeal of the seventeenthcentury Canadian mission to the Jesuits, and assesses the uses to which their Canadian experience was put in teaching, preaching, and religious controversy back in France. It suggests that mystical spirituality and asceticism as well as a 'Christian utopianism' found a home in Canada,

188 Peter A. Goddard

at least as the new land was imagined. If boundless numbers of converts were not forthcoming, the Canadian mission might still effect the interior alchemy of spiritual transformation in the lives of individuals, and provide example to the faithful. In its conditions of harshness, difficulty, and austerity, Canada was a laboratory for the spiritual project as it emerged from the Renaissance and Reformation: interior, universal, and rational. The uses to which Canada was put additionally reflect changes in the ideological climate of Catholic Europe over the course of the century. Up to 1650, Jesuits emphasized the privations of their new setting for reasons of ascetic spirituality and rigour. Later in the century, they represented the Canadian mission as an illustration of the possibilities of salvation more liberally interpreted. Throughout the century, the Canadian mission offered proof of Jesuit competence and commitment, as their very ideas of conversion and religious vocation were at first assaulted by Jansenist critics and then undermined by 'enlightened' free-thinkers who simply did not care about organized religion. Distant and for the most part inaccessible, Canada in Jesuit thought was the forum of the possible, in spirituality, at least, ever responsive to the order's concerns and preoccupations in Europe itself. Most Favoured Territory for Spiritual Exploration

Historians of religion are increasingly aware of the diversity of outlook in the historic Catholic world. No longer do confessional concerns dominate the historiography: the struggle between the rival versions of Christianity has abated, and the fractures once papered over for the sake of unity are now exposed for inspection. New research recognizes heterodox currents in early modern Christianity, including the persistent sense among social elites that Christian revelation was a personal, interior, and, above all, God-inspired boon. This sense was present in medieval contemplation, and in the imitatio Christi promoted by accomplished humanists in search of a higher level of Christian observance. The tendency is identifiable in the Augustinian doctrine of grace that infused sixteenth-century Protestant thought (Bossy 1985, 91). It was also the essential element of seventeenth-century Jansenism, or Catholic rigorism, that emerged as a force in French religious life, inspired by the Abbe de Saint-Cyran and his Flemish colleague Cornelius Jansen, author of the famous, if rarely read, Augustinus (1641). Jansenists, as advocates of this severe disciplinarian Christianity were called, opposed what they viewed as the lax tendencies not only of the everyday Christian

Canada in Seventeenth-Century Jesuit Thought 189

world but also the clergy, especially the Jesuits, whose standards were deemed too inclusive (and hence too low) to assure the purity of the faith. Historians have long viewed this Augustinian tendency as a property of extremist oppositional movements such as Jansenism or Puritanism; however, it asserted itself even within the Society of Jesus, whose adherence to post-Tridentine doctrine and support of Rome have given Jesuits the reputation of being supporters of modern centralism and orthodoxy (Guibert 1964, 349-73). A Jesuit thinker who demonstrates this mystical and ascetical strain of Christianitas, or true Christian doctrine, and who dominated the missiological theory of Canada in the first half of the seventeenth century, was Louis Lallemant (1587-1635). From 1619 to 1631, Lallemant taught at the Jesuit college at Rouen, an important centre for the training of missionaries (Bottereau 1937). Jean Rigoleuc, organizer of the Breton missions, and Paul Le Jeune, who styled himself the pioneer of the New France mission, were Lallemant's 'disciples,'2 while the future Canadian martyrs Jean de Brebeuf, Antoine Daniel, and Isaac Jogues were among his spiritual charges (Bottereau 1937, 126; and see Latourelle 1993, 225-74). Early in his career, the frail Lallemant had sought a missionary posting to Canada, lured not by the prospect of abundant conversions - indeed, other mission fields were known to produce a greater harvest - but rather by the conviction that the Canadian mission offered rewards of a different sort: 'it is more fruitful in travails and in crosses: it is less brilliant, and contributes more to the sanctification of its missionaries' (Lallement [1694] 1781, 52). However, Lallemant's talents proved better-suited for the training of Jesuit novices, and he served as counsellor and spiritual guide to those Jesuits returning from the pastoral field to refresh their vocation. Lallemant cultivated an inwardly directed, mystical spirituality. He emphasized inner purification and spiritual perfection, and he insisted on separating oneself from the struggles and temptations of the world. He also spoke against the optimistic creed that the Jesuits have embodied historically: nature, in Lallemant's quasi-monastic view, was void of virtue and the polar opposite of the spirit. Strikingly Augustinian in its insistence that truth dwelt within the believer, and not in the external world,3 his doctrine stood apart from the Ignatian conviction that God would be found in all places. Lallemant asserted, instead, that hardship in the new land would force reflection on where grace lay. Conversion to an ascetic and rigorous if not mystical faith was the only option for salvation (Lallement [1694] 1781, 69; and see Buckley 1989).

igo Peter A. Goddard

Lallemant's student Paul Le Jeune was the great publicist of the Canadian mission in its early (post-i632) days. Brought up in a Calvinist household, Le Jeune was a confessional warrior, always eager to spar with enemies of the truth. He also embodied the great Jesuit principle of indifference: he admitted to no particular desire to go to Canada but willingly submitted as a means of fulfilling his vocation. As author and editor of mission Relations from 1632, he presented an accessible portrait of the conversion of the Amerindians to a devout public at the same time as he stressed the arduousness of apostolic life in the boreal forest.4 The ascetic, penitent soul thrived in arduous Canadian conditions - 'the more one loses, the more one gains' (Jesuit Relations [16101791] 1896-1901 [hereafter JR] 5: 167-8). In such a life, the individual might find his own path of the cross, or higher conversion, as both Le Jeune's Relations and his personal correspondence indicated. Lejeune's view of the Native reflects the severity of Lallemantian spirituality in the early days of mission in Canada. While Le Jeune affirmed the humanity and the virtues of the Algonquian Montagnais in the famous mission Relation of 1634, he was equally concerned to depict, in Augustinian terms, a vein of corruption in the pagan human breast. It has been fashionable to excoriate Le feune as an exponent of culturally imperialist attitudes, which unavoidably he was.5 Yet if we step back from the imputed ethnographic content of his accounts, and attempt to understand Paul Le Jeune's religious world-view, with its emphasis on the austere and extreme states in which grace operates, we see that the figures Le Jeune produces are edifying ones, part of an epideictic rhetoric aimed at spiritual improvement. His reports on the Montagnais illustrated the chasm between 'natural' ways and godly ones; conversion alone bridges this gap. The faith tames, civilizes, lets true virtue flourish. The effects of this rigorist form of conversion were most pronounced in the case of the sauvage, but were universally applicable, especially in the case of the jaded, self-loving bourgeois back in France (Goddard 1993). In Lejeune's view, Canada was a place where the fundamental importance of religious conversion, the actual transformation of self, and the defeat of nature within, could be illustrated. One underexamined aspect of the massively studied mission Relations is that of the exemplary conversion.'' Much space in these annual accounts was taken up by stories of almost miraculously total transformation from sauvage to Christian, eliding many stages of historical development. Such conversions were expedited by sensitive instruction, prayer, ceaseless goodwill (even if embodied by the terrorist pastorale de la peur, or use of fear as a spur to

Canada in Seventeenth-Century Jesuit Thought 191

change), and heroic acts of charity, including the provision of medical aid in times of epidemic, and the sharing of meagre foodstuffs in times of famine. The missionary was Christ's middleman in the transformation; the Relations comprise a long-running advertisement for the powers of Jesuit techniques of persuasion and instruction, and their understanding of the profound nature of conversion. Yet Catholic reform embraced more than individual spiritual progress. In outlining the starkness of the choice between sauvage perdition and Christian salvation, Le Jeune represented Canada as a place for the realization of a collective spiritual Utopia, the purified society sought by religious reformers: 'old France is fitted to conceive noble desires, but the New is adapted to their execution; that one desires in old France is what one does in the New' (JR8: 116-17). Lejeune's Canada would not be dominated by either mercantile or political concerns, which would simply reproduce the moral turpitude of France itself. Instead he proposed a rule of the deuots. Strict conditions governing immigration, a rigorist code of conduct for inhabitants, and the need for colonists to exemplify Christianity for the indigenous population: all this was meant to attract the attention of the devot, whose interest was in control, conformity, and edification.7 Given that controls on immigration were theoretically strict, that logistics under the blundering Compagnie des Cent Associes were nightmarish, and that few French people of the religiously and culturally correct sort actually wanted to go to New France, it is difficult to accept that Jesuit writing about New France was simply propaganda for the colonizing effort. Indeed, the very characterization, in the Relations, of the pagan sauvage as concupiscent natural man was counterproductive to the goal of attracting settlers to the St Lawrence.8 With frank descriptions of natural hardship only partially offset by favourable mention of the superior robustness of the peoples, the New France of some Jesuit accounts seems a figuration of neostoical fantasy, a place where the hard, pure life might be imagined, full of tests to the faith and to life itself. Just as accounts of the most remote regions of France Haute Savoie or the Breton island of Ushant- described the austere but morally pure lives and primitive Christian institutions (in places where readers could never go to see for themselves),-' so too did descriptions of life in Christianized Native settlements reveal the dynamic of reformed Catholicism as upheld in a community of righteous but rustic individuals, separated from worldly civilization. Zealous observance characterized life among Amerindian converts at Sillery and Trois-


Peter A. Goddard

Rivieres in the 16405 and 16508, with public penance, strict Sabbatarianism, and rigid community discipline against both apostasy arid simple moral weakness (no dancing or drumming). The Jesuits in New France hoped to imitate the 'reductions' of contemporary Paraguay, where by 1627 as many as 30,000 formerly nomadic Guaranis lived under close supervision in fourteen Jesuit-run and largely self-sufficient communities. As in Paraguay, Jesuits hoped to build the ideal community of harmony, sharing, and godly discipline, the embodiment of the ideal of ascetic communal Christianity (Jetten 1994)- Such community depended on its isolation, the fact that it was buffered from corrupting civilization. So, while an earlier lay writer about Canada, Marc Lescarbot, could emphasize the nearness of this new France, and its location on the same latitude as the familiar (Lescarbot 1618, 128), Jesuits tended to emphasize the distance, and that this was a radically different world. No less important is the fact that Jesuits controlled the representation of such places: no one, for the time being, could challenge such views. As Christian Marouby points out (1990, 3194), the classical Utopia requires isolation and self-sufficiency. The best instance of the Jesuit practice of representing a Christian Utopia, and indeed the greatest single pastoral effort of the Jesuit mission to Canada, was the mission of St Joseph to the Huron (Wcndat) of the Georgian Bay area from 1635 to 1650. In 1633, Le Jeune wrote that if all went well, and war did not interfere, the harvest of souls from this 'stable nation' would be great: 'probably in two years it will be seen that there is not a nation so barbarous as not to recognize and honor God' (JR 5: 189-90). The evangelization of the Huron, into which the Jesuits poured the best of their meagre resources, sought not only to capitalize on the advanced degree of social and economic qualities of these northern farmers, but also to serve as the gateway to the innumerable peoples beyond the Great Lakes (JR 28: 65-6). The wholesale transformation of community appeared possible without the egregious Europeanization that seemed to obstruct the conversion process when it was attempted in Quebec. The Huron mission would demonstrate the efficacy of the unadulterated Jesuit program, in which instruction arid example alone would produce change in life and belief. Mission reports were consistently most optimistic about this 'harvest'; here Jesuits made predictions about the flowering of Christianity that would prove unachievable, but that illustrated their strong desire to establish the 'reduction' in northern latitudes on the basis of the already famous Paraguayan example far to the south.

Canada in Seventeenth-Century Jesuit Thought


For its duration, the Huron mission was the site of a program of cultural change according to the broad lines of reformed Catholicism. Advanced knowledge of Huron cultural practice, acquired over a decade, made it possible for missionaries to write out detailed prescriptions for Christianization (JR 13: 167-70). These involved the reorientation of cultic practice from the void of ignorant superstition towards the true God, and also the repression of the entire range of concupiscent behaviours of unenlightened natural man. Discipline was imposed on both the individual and the collective level, and a new community rose up in opposition to the old. In 1637 the headman Aenons, sympathetic to the Jesuits, illustrated perfectly the requirements of comprehensive cultural change when he linked the rigorous new practice with the Jesuit desire to 'overthrow the country' and to create something new and pure {JR 13: 171-2). Impossible without a miracle, he said. With the 1649 destruction of the mission centre Sainte-Marie and the dispersal of the Christianized Wendat population, the window of greatest Jesuit opportunity in New France was inexorably closing. Following his decision to take control of French government after the death of chief minister Mazarin in 1661, Louis xiv began to pay more attention to colonial affairs. The loss of the Jesuits' monopoly on missions after 1672, and the arrival of Recollet missionaries that year, limited the freedom enjoyed by the Society. So too were the ills of European colonization spreading: Jesuits would battle the brandy trade, for instance, but increasingly the controlled environment of the 'reduction' was the only place where indigenous Christianity might thrive. A secular era had arrived. Propaganda against Rigorism

At the same time, Jesuits in France were engaged in an increasingly bitter contest with Jansenism, the puritanical strain of Catholicism that gained new prominence with the 1655 papal condemnation of Antoine Arnauld for his defence of Jansen's religious purism, and with Pascal's brilliant Lettres provinciates (1656), which satirized Jesuit moral conduct and their allegedly sunny outlook on religious life. Despite the Augustinian pall cast by Lallemantian spirituality, the Jesuits were formally committed to the optimistic doctrine of grace, as promulgated by the Council of Trent. Jesuit attempts to build a bridge between sinful humanity and a wrathful God through pragmatic casuistry drew much ire from ultra-rigorists such as Arnauld, and deadly mockery from Pas-

194 Peter A. Goddard cal. The Society needed some means of preserving itself from accusations of 'laxism,' that perilous tendency to view God in human terms, as someone who can be negotiated with and even bought off, and which could lead to the systematic weakening of Christian moral obligation. They sought defence too against charges of the strange doctrine of fe peche philosophique, or 'philosophical sin,' in which Jesuits were charged with sloppy gate-keeping by not holding new Christians accountable for sins committed prior to conversion (see, for example, Arnauld 1690, 114-26). Missions to the stark Canadian wilderness fulfilled the function of counterargument, and allowed the Jesuits to claim the moral high ground in this bitter conflict. The rigorism and asceticism that characterized Le Jeune's writing in the 16305 could stand as a testament to the Jesuit commitment to a rigorous form of religious experience. Far from being the cats who lapped up the cream of apostolic work in comfortable and exotic situations ranging from the Qing court to Louis xiv's confessional, Jesuits in New France were selfless workers who risked all for marginalized and downtrodden peoples. According to Michel Le Tellier, writing in the i68os, Jesuits welcomed 'a perpetual exile in the forests of Guyana or Canada' (Le Tellier 1687, i: 149-50). Martyrdom as the embodiment of true religious commitment was a theme that emerged in later Jesuit writing, though it was not initially apparent in the reaction to the deaths of Brebeuf, Daniel, and others in the 16405.'" Their history was published in epic form by Francois Du Creux in his Historia Canadensis, sen novae-frandae Him decem ([1664] 1951-2), and then repeated in increasingly lurid forms; it contradicted the armchair critics and hypocritical bishops who supported Jansenism from their comfortable positions at home. If the missionaries endured great travails, and demanded high standards of the sauvage convert, they surely would not be more tolerant when confessing educated Christians in France. The later decades of mission writing emphasized the purity of faith as practised in the primitive setting, as well as the pristine clarity of evangelism and the strength of communal discipline. Canadian rigour thus opposed domestic laxism, and showed that the Jesuits were champions of the clearest evangel, wherever it might be preached. Outside the site of a 1700 clerical assembly convened to condemn laxist doctrines, there appeared a poster that contrasted in one panel the morale severe (severe morality), featuring a cartoon of corpulent Jansenist bishops and abbots enjoying a feast, and on the other, the morale reldchee (slack

Canada in Seventeenth-Century Jesuit Thought 195 morality), illustrated by a missionary undergoing mutilation while defending the faith at the hands of his sauvage captors (Hebert 1927, 309; and see Briggs 1989, 222-8). Loss of the Canadian mission monopoly in 1672 meant that Jesuit accounts of religious life could be challenged by competing religious orders who now laboured in the same fields. The Recollets (reformed Franciscans) disputed earlier Jesuit claims about numbers of converts, and they reopened the case of the effectiveness of their rivals' strategies. The Premier etablissement de la fay dans la Nauvelle France (1691) - attributed to Chrestien Le Clercq, but ghost-written by Jansenists (see Hamilton 1976) and bearing themes common to Arnauld and Pontchateau's La Morale pratique des jesuites — denied the presence of grace in sinful natural man, and promoted a repressive form of conversion centred on coercive institutions. Arnauld himself wrote voluminously and libellously about Jesuit laxism, which was in his view most apparent in the order's overly accommodating treatment of pagan Chinese, Japanese, or sauvage populations (Arnauld and Poritchateau 1689-95). Jesuits countered this sentiment by portraying Native converts as embodiments of purest Christianitas, equal before God, even if a little rough about the edges. As Claude Allouez wrote in the Relation of 1672-3, 'the name "Savage" gives rise to so very disparaging an idea of those who bear it, that many people in Europe have thought that it is impossible to make true Christians of them. But such persons do not reflect that God died for the barbarian as well as for the Jew, and that his spirit breathes where it wills.' Allouez emphasized the quality of the converts: 'Good trees bear good fruits ... not only are there true Christians among these savage peoples, but also ... many more in proportion than in our civilized Europe' (JR 58: 84-5). Jesuit writing after 1672 is rich in edifying examples of the new Christians, and represented an enormous recuperative effort directed against the very stereotype of savage natural man that earlier Relations had unwittingly set abroad. This effort culminated in Joseph-Fran gois Lafitau's Moeurs des sauvages ameriquains, comparees aux moeurs des premiers temps (1724), in which Lafitau would formally integrate the Amerindians into a world-historical scheme, recognizing not simply their humanity, which had never been at issue for the Jesuits, but their cultural integrity and their reverence, however error-shrouded, for the divine. But even Lafitau despaired: too much damage had been done by earlier Jesuits, who for the sake of illustrating exemplary conversion had disparaged the life of the unconverted (Lafitau 1724, i: 5).

196 Peter A. Goddard Testing Grounds for Rationalism

In addition to securing ammunition for the wearying ideological war on the home front over soteriology and missiology, Jesuits found intellectual opportunity in the Canadian mission. An order devoted to the promotion of learning did not neglect to incorporate Canada into its philosophical project. While Canada would never be a showcase for scientific advance (its peoples were deemed too primitive to be impressed by the apparatus of western science), it served as a testing place for certain metaphysical assumptions tied to the emergent world of rationalism. Incipient rationalism was most pronounced in analysis of the supernatural. Mission reports contradicted the obsession with witchcraft, sorcery, black magic, and diabolical intervention that characterized some elite thinking in Europe, and elsewhere in the colonial world (Goddard 1995 and 1997). The Jesuits' thinking on Canada provided a sceptical demonology. From Le Jeune onwards, missionaries confronted the question of diabolism in Native religion and in shamanistic resistance to missionary activity. Yet just as Lallemantian spiritualism was devoid of any sustained analysis of the Devil and his supposed effects (the necessary bases of human sin and depravity were found in nature itself), missionaries working within this framework found little active role for the Devil. Instead, Jesuits described Algonquian and Iroquoian spirituality as 'superstition,' or error in understanding of the sacred, but not idolatry, the worship of a false god. Jesuit missionaries perpetrated the slur that the Aboriginal peoples lacked religion, but they did absolve them of the charge of Devil-worship. As Paul Ragueneau wrote in 1648, 'it is easy to call irreligion what is merely stupidity, and to take for diabolical working something that is nothing more than human' (JR 33: 144-5), including those customs that were 'impertinentes' (rude or saucy) rather than diabolically criminal. There was no Devil in New France, only the need for an 'eschole de la verite,' or 'school of truth,' to teach these peoples true faith and steer them away from their absurd ways. Represented as a disenchanted environment, Canada thus may have played a role in undermining traditional demonology, which had surged to great heights in parts of Europe itself. To counter the regime of fear, ignorance, and superstition that they found in traditional life, Jesuits proposed rational understanding and emphasized the importance of pedagogy. Waywardness from the true path was a function of lack of education: nowhere could the consequences be seen more

Canada in Seventeenth-Century Jesuit Thought 197

clearly than in Canada, where an uneducated population upheld ridiculous beliefs, but could be brought to Christianity through instruction. This suited the Jesuits, as it demonstrated the true strength of the mission: Jerome Lalemant, in Huron country, explained the centrality of the reasonable approach: 'We have not here, nor can we have, either the power of constraint or the chains of benefits, to the extent that would be necessary to render these people entirely ours.' He spoke the language of imperialism, but of reason and not force: 'All our power lies at the end of our tongues, in the exhibition and production of our books and Writings, the effect of which they never cease to wonder at. This is the only thing that avails us with these peoples, in lieu of all other ground for credibility' (JR 17: 134-5). Conclusion: Canada as Signpost and Showplace of Christianitas Seventeenth-century Canada was far from being an autonomous 'New World' whose harsh climate, difficulty of access, and primitive peoples underlined difference and distance from Europe, as it might have appeared to Renaissance Europeans who encountered the northern land in the sixteenth century. Rather, it was integrated into contemporary religious consciousness and controversy. Site of some of the seventeenth century's most ambitious missions outside of Europe, Canada served an especially important function in early modern Jesuit thought. For Jesuits, it was a place where the spiritually inclined might go in order to annihilate self and submit to God, and where nature in its most imposing forms might be defeated and supplanted by grace. More optimistically, Canada was a site for the establishment of the Christian republic, where new converts would live in exemplary fidelity to Christianitas, the Jesuit conception of true Christian doctrine. Representations of the pure and rigorous religious states achieved in Canada countered 'those who alleged Jesuit laxism in the mission fields and at home. Canada was also the locale for efforts to establish the rational foundations of Christianity, to occlude the irrational and the superstitious, and to develop the disenchanted view of nature that is fundamental to modern scientific understanding. Was Canada thus indispensable to early modern Jesuits? It symbolized multiple meanings: spiritual, political, ideological, and intellectual. Its very remoteness from Christian Europe meant that it could be represented in sometimes contradictory but always idealized ways. To Jesuits, Canada was the great frontier, a land of opportunity not for gold and riches, but for the development

198 PeterA.Goddard of self and Christian society. Far from being the site of absolute freedom, of course, the frontier is often the mirror of the centre: the Jesuits' Canada reflected an ambitious program with universal intent.

NOTES 1 On the latter point, see the unsurpassed works by Chinard (1913) and Atkinson (1927). 2 Bremond summarizes the 'school' of Lallemant as 'sober, scarcely aware of the world around them, but very active' (Bremond 1928-38, 5: 66; my translation). 3 Lallement's spiritual doctrine embodies Augustine's injunction in De vera religione: 'Noli foras ire, in teipsum redi; in intcriore homine habitat veritas' (Do not go outward; return within yourself. In the inward man dwells truth) (see Taylor 1989, 129-31). 4 Le Jeune's indifference is apparent in his description of hardships encountered early in the mission: after an account of the privations of the voyage to New France, he stated simply that 'I would not have wished to be in France' (JRy 15). On Ignatian indifference, see Barthes 1971, 77-8. Le Jeune's writing about Canada contains some of the century's most harrowing 'realist' accounts of hardship and privation. I would set his Relation of 1634 ('What one must suffer in wintering with the savages') (JR 7: 35—233), in which he recounts his participation in winter nomadism, alongside Thomas James's The strange and dangerous voyage ofcaplaine Thomas James, in his intended Discovery of the Northwest Passage into the South Sea (1633), as classics i n this genre of colonial writing. 5 See Principe 1990 for the argument that Le Jeune's assessment was more balanced than is suggested by revisionist history of Native—missionary contact, including work by Yvon Le Bras (Le Bras 1988, 142-9). 6 Recent work points to a new appreciation of the figurative aspects of Jesuit conversion accounts, although literalism predominates among historians of the mission; see Deffain 1995 and Ouellet 1993. 7 SeeJR Q: 133-49, for laudatory accounts of the moral quality of the new colony. Another useful comment about moral qualities under conditions of duress (Iroquois attack, epidemics, etc.) is Jean de Brebeufs 'Not vice rules here, but virtue and piety; not only among ours, who everywhere show themselves men, and true sons of the Society, but also among our French, and among the barbarians' (JRzy 250-1). 8 Contrast the portrait of the Algonquian and Iroquoian peoples with that of

Canada in Seventeenth-Century Jesuit Thought


the gentle Guarani depicted in Yves d'Evreux's Voyage dans le nord du Bresil fait durant les annees 1613 et 1614 ([1615] 1864); the Capuchin characterized these Amerindians as naturally religious and virtuous folk. 9 For remote and isolated Brittany, see Boschet 1697, 91 ff; for the Alps, see Charles de Geneve 1976, 3: 199-221. The same strategy of idealizing the impossibly remote is found in seventeenth-century writing about China; see Semedo 1645, Avant-discours; see also Duteil 1996. 10 For an iconoclastic view of Canadian martyrology, see Lafleche, 1988-91. Dominique Deslandres (1995) provides useful context for Lafleche's interpretation of the ideology of martyrdom.

*A New Loreto in New France': Pierre-Joseph-Marie Chaumonot, SJ, and the Holy House of Loreto* Andre Sanfapon

In the seventeenth century, the most popular Marian shrine in Italy was Our Lady of Loreto. In the santa Casa, sheltered by the basilica on which Bramante and other Renaissance architects had laboured to such magnificent effect, pilgrims would gather their thoughts before the statue of Our Lady, in the glow of devotional lamps. Having come to seek the Virgin's blessings in her own house, they were confident their prayers would be answered. Here, they could feel like children of the Virgin, addressing her as the daughter of Anne and Joachim and, at the same time, as the wife of Joseph and virgin mother of Jesus. Why should they have had any doubts about the tradition, which as we know was a legend born in 1472, nurtured in subsequent decades by humanists, and granted broad support by theologians? Following his predecessors' lead, Pope Sixtus v had also given the tradition his sanction and had inscribed on the building's pediment the words: Deiparae domus in qua Verbum cam faclum est (The house of the Mother of God, in whom the Word was made flesh) (Veuillot 1841, 190). For a believer of the time, the Holy House in which the Virgin Mary was born, had received the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation, and had reared her son Jesus, had been transported in 1291 by the angels from Nazareth to Tersatto in Dalmatia, and, three years later, from there to the other shore of the Adriatic, around Recanati, ending up, finally, at Loreto, in the province of Ancona, protected by the Renaissance church built mainly between 1468 and 1513.' This was the legend when Pierre Chaumonot (1611-93) made the first of several pilgrimages to the shrine about 1630. Not long afterwards, he embarked on what was to become more than a half*Translated by Glenn Gavin.

'A New Loreto in New France' 201

century as a missionary to Canada, mostly among the Huron (Wendat). Finally, in 1674, Chaumonot - a member of the Society of Jesus and an ordained priest designated, at his request, for the Canadian missions was able to fulfil his dream of erecting a chapel in Canada modelled on the santa Casa of Loreto. This project and the actual construction of a Holy House in New France are known to us chiefly through the descriptions and perceptions the Jesuits recorded in dieir Relations and through Father Chaumonot's autobiography, which he wrote on orders from his superior in 1688 at the Lorette mission. These documents and related correspondence enable us to determine the goals of the project, the stages in its development and execution, and the conditions under which it was carried out. The modelling of Notre Dame de Lorette in New France on the santa Casa of Loreto in Italy was seen by the Jesuits as an effective means of strengthening the missionary endeavour in the colony. The Jesuits working to Christianize the Amerindians in Canada were not doing so in a vacuum, but rather - in 1637, when the Loreto project began to take shape in Italy - in the spirit of a century still profoundly marked in many ways by the Renaissance. Yet there was a certain distancing from the Renaissance, as well, in that authority in every field was held in higher esteem, as were those of its symbols likely to shore up efforts to remould the faithful of the Old World and mould the fresh converts of the New World into ideal Christians and, hence, obedient subjects of the King, God's representative on earth. As a Burgundian youth, Pierre Chaumonot had been cured of scabies of the scalp at the Marian shrine in Italy. Deciding that he had been adopted by the Virgin as her son (Chaumonot 1885, 13-17), he made devotion to Our Lady of Loreto the foundation of his spiritual life. Underscoring his adoption by adding 'Marie' to his given name, PierreJoseph, Chaumonot shortly afterward- became a son of St Ignatius Loyola, founding father of the Jesuits. Towards the end of 1636 at the College of Rome, Chaumonot met Father Joseph-Antoine Poncet, who had been named to the mission in Canada and who had him read the first Relation by Father Jean de Brebeuf, about the mission to the Huron. Full of desire to go to New France, Chaumonot prepared himself by a pilgrimage on foot from Rome to Loreto, undertaken with Poncet in the fall of 1637 (Chaumonot 1885, 34-5, 37-9; Campeau 1967-94, 3: 176). Before the statue of Our Lady, Chaumonot made a vow to serve Christ, asking the Virgin to see to the success of his trip to Canada and resolving to 'build in New France ... a chapel to be called Notre-Dame-

2O2 Andre Sanfafon

de-Lorette, according to the design of the Holy House of the Mother of God' in which he and Poncet were then praying (Chaumonot 1885,412). After his ordination, Chaumonot returned to Loreto, availing himself of the permission granted to Jesuits newly ordained in the pontifical city to choose the location of their first mass in accordance with that which 'their devotion inspires in them.' He writes: 'I had no intention of choosing any other place than the chapel built by Cardinal Palotti in honour of the Virgin, under the name and on the model of the Holy House of Loreto' (43). In Rome, hearing of Chaumonot's devotion to Loreto and pledge to build the chapel in Canada, Signora Portia Lancelotti, niece of a cardinal and one of Father Poncet's confessants, made the first gift - 25 ecus, she said, 'to lay the first stone or brick of the Holy House of Lorette, to be built one day in this new world' (Chaumonot 1885, 42, 195). Accomplishing this goal would take several decades, yet, from 1639, the year of his arrival in Canada, until 1674, when the chapel at the mission of Lorette was finally consecrated, Chaumonot says that his "desire to obtain in Canada for the Blessed Virgin a house built on the model of the true house' never faltered (193)- When he embarked at Dieppe on 4 May 1639, his baggage contained a small statue of his special protector, Our Lady of Loreto, which was placed in the chapel of the missionary house at Ste Marie Among the Hurons when he arrived there on 10 September (Jesuit Relations [1610-1791] 1896-1901 [hereafter JR] 30:94-5). Between 1639 and 1674, the Huron nation lived through a terrible period of upheaval that placed its very existence in jeopardy. The Huron's contact with European colonizers, merchants, and missionaries had devastating consequences: epidemics broke out, struggles with the Iroquois developed over the control of the fur trade, and within a decade2 the inhabitants of Huronia were decimated demographically, economically, and culturally. When Huronia was destroyed and its survivors dispersed, several Huron 'carefully selected for their Christian piety' (Trigger [1976] 1987,801) travelled with their Jesuit missionaries to find refuge at Notre Dame de Foy, near Quebec. The arrival of these warriors on lie d'Orleans in 1650 helped reinforce Quebec's defences against the Iroquois and English threat. Deprived of their ancestral territory, increasingly estranged from their traditional civilization through their adoption of European beliefs and practices, dependent on the French, and subject to their laws, these Huron were the target of intensive Christianization in the seven locales in which they lived, between

'A New Loreto in New France'


1650 and 1674, around Quebec (Vaugeois 1996; Blouin 1987). Characterized by special devotion to the Virgin and membership in pious fraternities, by the wearing of crosses, rosaries, and devotional medallions, by regular attendance at mass featuring the use of images and relics (Gagnon 1975, 29-46), and by fervent participation in ritual Christian processions, these individuals were kept away as much as possible from the bad example of certain unscrupulous French residents of Quebec. In spite of the upheaval in their lives, these Huron were on the way to achieving the objectives derived from the model of the 'ideal Christian' and loyal subject of the king, as set forth by the Jesuits (Lindsay 1900; Chaumonot 1885; Sanfacon 1996). In their efforts among the Amerindians, Chaumonot and his colleagues spoke of the 'miraculous cures which occur at Nostre Dame de Laurette [Loreto],' which did not fail to touch their audience; the Relations tell us that some of that number actually experienced the powers of the Loretan Virgin (JR 30: 92-7). After years of missionary work, Chaumonot decided that the time was ripe for launching his much-delayed project after Father Poncet sent him a statue modelled on the one in Loreto, the shrine at which Poncet was then serving as confessor. He also sent 'a head-covering or bonnet of white taffeta which had been placed briefly on the head of the statue in the Holy House of Italy, and a faience dish, fashioned after the one [held by] the infant Jesus and having touched it, and thumbnail-sized loaves of bread which had been kneaded in the Holy Family's dishes and then blessed' (Chaumonot 1885, 203) ,3 With these objects, Chaumonot was in possession of what he needed: a tangible impetus for the development in Canada of devotion to Our Lady of Loreto. The Notre Dame de Foy site had become uncomfortable for the Huron and some Iroquois converts. Father Claude Dablon, superiorgeneral of this mission, wrote in 1673: 'As this mission increases daily ... our Savages ... were in need of land and wood' (JR 58: 131; Father Chaumonot has indicated the same causes in his autobiography [Chaumonot 1885: 194]). The Jesuits decided to transfer the Huron mission northward to their St Gabriel seigneury, in the Laurentian foothills not far from Quebec. Chaumonot and his brothers agreed that this new mission would be an ideal site on which to 'build of brick a new Loreto in New France' (195). Their goals were to increase devotion to the Virgin, celebrate the mystery of the Incarnation, allow those who could never make the pilgrimage to Italy to fulfil their duty to honour the Loreto shrine 'at least in its image,' and, finally, nurture 'spiritual birth in the hearts of all the French and all the Savages of America!' (JR&0: 68-73) .4

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Bursting with joy, on 4 March 1672 Chaumonot gave his 'offering made to Our Lady of Loreto of a living temple in which to enclose and, as it were, set as a jewel the holy house in Canada built on the design of the original, which is in Italy' (Lindsay 1900, 144-6). This 'living temple,' which he described as rather a 'poor hut or dwelling,' was nothing other than his own body and soul. In thus consecrating himself, Chaumonot became nothing less than the spiritual and bodily incarnation in New France of the santa Casa of Loreto. Yet Chaumonot's pledge went beyond this 'living temple' to plans for and construction of a new Loreto. Many other people were involved in the construction project. Chaumonot wrote, 'the devotion which is entertained here for Notre Dame de Lorette in Canada, began just as soon as the project for building that holy chapel was formed. In fact, when at the beginning of the year 1673 we went to mark out its site, persons of high standing in this country betook themselves thither with much fervor, and themselves wished to fell some of the trees which occupied the place designated for building the chapel'((JR6 9 before the construction of the chapel (mass was then being celebrated in a cabin at the Lorette mission in progress), 'the mere name of Lorette, since our village as yet had none but that, - was powerful enough to attract thither all sorts of persons, who came on pilgrimages, from great distances, in very bad weather and by wretched roads' (JR6o: 94-5). The layout of the future village was decided on in the course of 1673: a square whose sides would be composed of bark cabins (longhouses) equidistant from each other, with the chapel at its centre (JR 60: 79). The missionaries showed the plan to the Huron still at Notre Dame de Foy; the dogique,5 Louis Thaondechoren, 'relating, among other things, what he had heard of Our Lady of Loretto in Italy ... [He] said that it seemed to him that all their cabins, which he saw ranged around the chapel, represented in his eyes the great temple enclosing the sacred house of Loretto; that thus they were to consider the whole of their village as a great church, of which all the cabins constituted so many different parts' (JR 58: 149-51; 60: 79). In the discourse of this seventeenthcentury Huron, then, the projected bark cabins became, by analogy, the temple itself, the church erected by Renaissance architects in Loreto, Italy, which housed the santa Casa. During 1673-4, Chaumonot and his missionary colleagues continued to prepare the Amerindians spiritually for their move to the Lorette site, dedicating them to the Holy Angels, to Our Lady of Loreto and to St Anne, successively, 'for the happy establishment of the house and the

'A New Loreto in New France'


village of their Queen in Canada'((JR6o::73-5; Chaumonot 1885, 193-4; Merlet 1858, 6; Lindsay 1900, 162-3). The 'vow sent by the Huron nation to Laurette [Loreto] supplicating the Blessed Virgin to bring about the conversion of the savages throughout New France, in the year 1673' was accompanied by a porcelain-bead (wampum) collar inscribed with the following words: 'Ecce ancilla dornini, fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum' (Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word). The Huron vow continued, 'We want these letters in porcelain to take the place of our hearts ... All your subjects of this new world come to pay you homage and recognize you as queen in a house where you wished to be only a servant' (Lindsay 1900, 161, 166). These words resonate with the ambivalence of the Loretan image of Mary, queen and servant, a model to emulate in order to reach celestial glory through earthly submission. Urged by Father Chaumonot to become fully prepared spiritually, the Huron turned first to the angels who had taken the Holy House to Loreto, then to the Virgin of Loreto herself and, finally, to St Anne, Mary's mother. To involve St Anne directly echoed the Huron tradition of the extended family, shaped by matrilineal and matrilocal customs and by the key role assigned to the grandmother or the woman-chief in Huronia before 1650 (Trigger [1976] 1987, 523). The Huron would easily have understood the legend that Mary had inherited the house in Nazareth from her mother and had later brought her husband, Joseph, to it, where they raised Jesus, Mary's son. Consecrations such as that of the village at Lorette were not uncommon in Europe at the time. The feast days of the guardian angels and of St Joseph had been compulsory holidays in France since 1661, and in 1670 Rome extended this obligation to the rest of the world; Leopold i was preparing to dedicate his whole empire to St Joseph, whom he would proclaim protector of the House of Austria (Delumeau 1989, 340). At the same time, France had been solemnly dedicated to the Virgin by its king (Darricau iggob). Numerous towns and regions in Europe had been placed under her protection, and devotion to Mary was at the heart of the movement for reform in the Catholic Church (Darricau iggoa). The novelty of Lorette in New France thus lay not in the consecration of the hamlet to the Virgin but in the Jesuits' realization of a planned mission project centred on a renowned Marian model in Europe. Moreover, they respected - albeit more on the inside than the outside of the chapel - the salient features of the santa Casa's evocative power.

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The plans for the basilica of Our Lady of Loreto and of the Holy House were known by the Jesuits in Quebec, especially Father Chaumonot, because of the pilgrimages he had made to Loreto before his departure for Canada.6 In 1675, Father Bouvart described the chapel as 'similar to the true Loretto ... wholly of brick - forty feet long by twenty wide, and twenty-five feet high.' He supplied details on the location of the doors, chimney, and windows, and, by way of additional documentation, referred to his reading: 'Turcellin opines that the main portion of the dwelling is the North side, and affirms that the threshold of the door is of wood - which we have observed in case of the Canadian Loretto' (JR6o::88-91). Turcellin' was Father Orazio Torsellini (1544-99), who had been rector of the Jesuit college at Loreto; in 1594, he wrote his Lauretanae historiae libri quinque.1 Bouvart went on to mention 'a cupboard quite simply constructed, and suitable for locking up plate and other similar articles ... The small recess which is behind the altar is called by the Italians "il camino santo" [the holy chimney], because it contains the chimney of the holy family, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Our Hurons name it at least as properly in their language, Marie etiondata, "the apartment of Mary" because that, as is believed, was where the blessed Virgin had her bed, and where, it is asserted, she often changed the clothing of her divine child, and warmed him' (JR 60: 90-3). A copy of the statue of the Madonna at Loreto was placed, like the original, on the mantelpiece, where 'it is greatly esteemed and justly venerated' (JR 58: 154-7). Yet the statue bore one notable change from the original: 'the image of Our Lady which is in the true Loretto being black, - either on account of the smoke from the lamps which burn there, or otherwise, - we have had the image of our Lorette painted in flesh-color. We did this for fear lest, if we exposed for the veneration of our Savages an image entirely black, we might cause them to resume the custom which we have made them abandon, of blackening and staining their faces' (JR 60: 92-3). Altogether, the arrangement of the chapel interior proved to be quite effective in the daily life of the mission, where the concrete elements of the santa Casa were used to further the Christianizing of the Hurons and Iroquois at Lorette and to attract French pilgrims from the colony. The blessing of the chapel took place on 4 November 1674, 'with a great coming together of French and savages, as many Huron as Abenaki' (Chaumonot 1885, 198); Father Bouvart adds that 'there were some present who had purposely come from a distance often long leagues' (JR 60: 94-5). A procession formed to go into the forest to fetch three statues

'A New Loreto in New France'


that had been sent from Europe: the main one was the copy of Our Lady of Loreto; the two others were 'made of the real wood of Notre Dame de Foy' in what is now Belgium.8 One statue 'is a Virgin, bearing her Son; and it was sent to our savages by the cities of Nancy and Bar. The other, which the princes and princesses of the most illustrious and pious house of Lorraine have sent us, is a Saint Joseph, who also holds the infantjesus upon one of his arms.' These statues were adorned with relics: 'a piece of the Blessed Virgin's veil, which is at the base of the St, Joseph, and a small portion of the same St. Joseph's girdle, enshrined in a little escutcheon which the infantjesus holds, who is himself borne by his mother.' The nuns of the Hospital of Quebec had made a robe for the statue of Our Lady of Loreto so as to cover her majestically, like the one on display in the santa Casa in Italy. They had also donated 'a bowl fashioned after the holy bowls which are at Loretto, one that has touched them' (/R6o: 847; 58:157). In this way, the model of the Holy House was being assimilated to the Huron mission, its continuity and legitimacy derived from European traditions of piety connected with two shrines dedicated to the Virgin and with the protective mediation offered by the princely house of Lorraine and by two cities, Nancy and Bar, pledged to the Virgin by their prince. Upon returning to the village of the Huron, the procession 'made its way round the great square, so that the holy Virgin might take possession of all the cabins in front of which she passed before entering into her own dwelling' (Lindsay 1900, 147). In his sermon, Father Claude Dablon, superior-general of the colony's Jesuit missions, highlighted the symbolic meaning of the model and of the similarity and resemblance between the holy houses of Italy and New France (JR 60: 86-9). The description of this ceremony shows how strongly the Jesuits insisted on the dramatic passage from the barbarism of forest life to Christian civilization in 'Mary's hamlet,' where the chapel's statues and relics and the Holy Family's cabin would help mission proteges forge ahead towards sanctification, far from the demons of the forest. This passage was further symbolized by the use of 'the real wood of Notre Dame de Foy,' in two of the statues in the chapel. In the Holy House, the chaste Joseph had plied his humble carpenter's trade, while the young Jesus - consistent with traditional representation - gathered up the wood shavings and chips. The relics allegedly from the Virgin's veil and St Joseph's girdle formed a legacy embodying other aspects of domestic life, enhanced by the robe destined to 'majestically' cover Our Lady of Loreto's statue and by the dishes fashioned after those of the Italian shrine.

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Well before the chapel modelled on the Holy House was actually constructed, the Quebec Jesuits had made a point of popularizing the place and objects commemorating the daily life of the Virgin and Holy Family. As a result, almost immediately after its dedication the Holy House of Lorette was functioning as an effective place of pilgrimage: 'Since the opening of the chapel, the devotion of the French for coming thither on pilgrimages, for making and fulfilling vows there, and receiving the sacraments there, has been altogether extraordinary.' Over the ensuing months, pilgrims from Quebec and its environs - 'the governor of this country and the common people, the priests and the religious, the rich and the poor' - converged on Lorette (JR 58: 142-3; 60: 94-7, 308-9). In 1675, Bouvart stated that there was 'in all New France no place more notable through the devotion of the French and the Savages than ... Notre Dame de Lorette' (/R6o: 68-9). According to the testimony of their missionaries, the Amerindians quickly adapted daily chapel devotions to the specific features presented by the model of the santa Casa, which they called the House of the Virgin. As the 'settlers' of the new Lorette, the Huron seemed to be 'the first to feel its effects when manifesting ... their devotion ... their fervor in honoring Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in their holy house.' They displayed 'greater assiduity at mass, at the instructions, arid at prayers,' imitating 'the punctuality of the most accomplished Religious' (JR 60: 98-9). Many came to chapel as early as four o'clock in the morning, some praying for as long as two or three hours at a time (JR 58: 166-7). The children were likewise eager and joyful about going to pray or to receive instruction at the chapel; this had not been the case in the Native settlement at Notre Dame de Foy, where, in the opinion of Father Chaumonot and the children's mothers, 'they had no ardor' for such things (JR 60: 98-101). The Huron made it a point of honour to keep the Virgin's house extremely tidy, and,to clear away the snow on the paths leading to it (/R6o: 100-3). Thus, they were putting into practice the teaching inspired by the Lorette model - accepting simple everyday tasks and doing them with humility, devotion, and prayer, just as each member of the Holy Family had done in the Holy House. Each day, the Huron families took turns praying in the camino santo, the 'little recess ... behind the altar,' where the French also went to meditate after confession and communion; 'and, when the round of the cabins is complete, they begin again with even more fervor than if it were the first time' (JR6o::102-3). The Virgin's 'room' created a locus of the sacred - concentrating there the essence of its Loretan prototype - one

'A New Loreto in New France'


more responsive, perhaps, to Amerindian aspirations than the statue of Our Lady of Loreto because of the Native tradition linking the soul of places and objects to the divine. Such syncretism allied the resonances from the ancestral religion, felt in all aspects of Huron life, with Christian catechism and clerical teaching. 'The object of their principal prayers,' wrote Father Dablon, general superior of the colony's Jesuit missions, in 1674, 'is to obtain that their families may be properly governed, like that of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph; the conversion of infidels, especially of the Savages; and success for France in all its affairs and undertakings' (JR 58: 168-9). No doubt such prayers more faithfully reflect the suggestions made by the missionaries themselves than the Huron's own meditations - like the reminder that a good Christian was, unfailingly, a loyal subject of the king. Indeed, what more effective means could there be than to propose the actual words for prayers offered at Notre Dame de Lorette? Not to be outdone by the adults, children, too, went to the chapel to say their rosaries; one of them called the Virgin '"My mother!"' (/R6i: 42-5). Bouvarl concluded, 'We doubt not that the Blessed Virgin gladly accepts this blessed ardor which is prevalent for honoring her in her house in Canada' (/R6o: 102-3). This 'most particular devotion for the blessed Virgin' was no passing fancy; it was still in evidence some years after the village was founded. The Amerindians were so strongly attached to their chapel, the missionaries tell us, that they willingly endured shortages of food, preferring 'the happiness of residing near the house of the blessed Virgin. Some have even made a vow never to remove from its vicinity' (/R6i: 34-7). 'Miracles' took place, and die missionaries encouraged the Amerindians of Lorette 'to acknowledge the favors' received from the Virgin 'and to profit by them' (JR 58: 162-3) • In the village of Lorette - where the Virgin was sovereign and treated as such in her house - as well as throughout the mission lands, the Amerindians continued to make progress (the missionaries assure us) in the practice of virtues leading to Christian perfection - demonstrating patience, resignation and submission, piety, fervour, mortification, charity, generosity, and purity (JR 58: 132-3, 148-51; 60: 44-9, 294-5, 300-7; 61: 34-5, 38-9; 62: 256-7). These essentially passive virtues coincided exactly with those that devotion to the Holy House of Loreto and to the Holy Family sought to strengthen.'1 A number of Huron crossed over into the realm of action, developing such missionary zeal that they not only provided mutual support among themselves, but also urged the members of other nations to convert and adopt the demanding tenets

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of Christianity (JR$8::164-5; 60: 26-33, 306-7; 63: 192-5). The Relation for 1677-8 reports that Notre Dame de Lorette 'perseveres in the practice of all Christian virtues ... many lead a very spiritual life; and, not content with meditation in the church, they likewise practice it in the fields, while at work' (/R6i: 34-5). According to the Jesuits, the Loretan model was operating effectively: French pilgrims - men, women, old people - 'acknowledge themselves well paid for their trouble, through the consolation which they feel at having seen this sanctuary, and through the graces and other favors which they have received in it' (JR60: 96-7). Besides their devotion to the shrine of Notre Dame de Lorette, the French had confidence in the special effectiveness of the prayers of the Native people there: new Christians, they were seen by the clergy and inhabitants of New France as having souls that were fresh and naive, and as shaping in the New World a newborn church in which the fervour of the early church could be felt once more. In 1688, when Father Chaumonot had been serving as chaplain of the Holy House of Lorette for fourteen years, Monsignor de Saint-Vallier wrote: 'The Hurons and the Iroquois who have joined up with them ... have such tender devotion toward the blessed Virgin that they all want to die near the Holy House, and, in spite of the repeated invitation several of them have been offered to settle elsewhere, they have never been persuaded to do so ... The chapel is nearly always filled with these good Christians; and when they have returned to their cabins, it is almost as if they were still in church; they speak of God, they sing Hymns of thanksgiving, they recite their Rosary or other prayers, and they encourage one another to perform all manner of good deeds' (Saint-Vallier [1688] 1856, 67; Chaumonot 1885, 44). Chaumonot maintained that 'it would be necessary to compose an entire book to describe all the extraordinary favours' obtained from the Virgin of Lorette in New France (Chaumonot 1885, 198). Objects connected with Loretan devotional practice were lent out to other parishes in the Quebec area, and the tiny loaves of bread that had been moulded by nuns at Quebec in dishes sent from Lorcto were blessed and distributed to them as well, thus spreading and reinforcing devotion to the Holy House (203-5) • The exalted feelings Chaumonot, his colleagues, and French and Amerindian believers experienced for the Holy House at Lorette and its material details - furnishings and household articles - were well within the range of prayer typically adopted by European pilgrims making their way to the original shrine at Lore to. Guidebooks for pilgrims in

'A New Loreto in New France' 211

the seventeenth century, such as the one published in 1616 by Cesare Franciotti, exhort them to contemplate - at each stage of their journey the utter perfection of the Holy House and the 'New Nazareth,' each element of which furnished material for the elevation of the spirit since each was thought to bear unique witness to the mysteries of the Annunciation and Incarnation. Devotional practice, whether in Loreto or Lorette, was directed both to the Holy House and to the Virgin, with the line between the two generally blurred, thus yielding a synthesis that in no way troubled clergy or pilgrims (Franciotti 1616; Baron 1956), Father Chaumonot was well acquainted with this devotional literature, which nourished both his prayers and his efforts in colonial and missionary circles — notably including his solicitation among the religious communities and the elite of Quebec for donations to help in the construction of the chapel.10 Yet despite the highly charged devotion generated by the construction of the Holy House, relatively few donations were forthcoming: 'in the way of alms and other aids from men, we have received so little that it does not deserve to be recounted,' Father Bouvart said dryly in !675 (/ff Go: 74-5). Father Chaumonot, however, was more grateful, taking care to draw up a list in his 1688 autobiography of the donations received from religious institutions and the elite of Quebec for the adornment of the Marian chapel, including chalices and ciboria, crosses and candelabra, lamps and vases - all of silver - altar facing, chasuble and accessories, and, naturally, hard cash (Chaumonot 1885, 195-6). The Huron provided a cabin for religious services until the construction of the chapel was completed, and also gave their labour - when it was sought by the French workmen - as well as eighteen moose-skins, of which Bouvart observes, 'we preferred to exchange these for clothing, which we bought for them in order to help cover them1 (JRQo: 84-5). The late i68os and the 16905 were often less happy than the early years at the Lorette mission, which endured both scandals and ravages, caused particularly by the frequent abuse of alcohol. The aging Father Chaumonot was no longer able to control his flock. Having run the mission from 1673 to 1691, he resigned and retired to the Jesuit College at Quebec, where he died in 1693. More and more of the Huron were breaching the contract accepted on 4 November 1674, the day of the chapel's benediction. The Jesuits, represented by Father Chaumonot, had conceded the lands around the mission to the Huron, who were 'obliged, byway of dues, not to take liquor to excess; and that those who shall henceforth become intoxicated shall be driven from Lorette and shall lose their fields, whatever work they may have accomplished' (JR 60: 88-9).

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While the Amerindians of Lorette clearly enjoyed certain advantages living under the protection of the French of Quebec, they were far from being truly at home in the area. Their tenuous entitlement had been made clear from the moment the Jesuits decided to leave the mission of Notre Dame de Foy for Notre Dame de Lorette. Although the Huron were able to choose the site of their future dwellings on the Jesuit property (Chaumonot 1885, 194), those who had hastened to build their cabins before the winter of 1673-4 were obliged to demolish them because they did not fit in with the missionaries' plan, which included the number of cabins; their width, length, and spacing; and their arrangement and alignment along the lane leading to the chapel as well as die latter's central location, and construction by French workmen using red brick and wooden framework. All this planning by the Jesuits only served to further dispossess the Amerindians of traditional landmarks. Even so, important cultural features were maintained in Lorette: family lodgings in longhouses, distinctive dress made of animal skins, meetings of the councils of elders, hunting and fishing cycles, the cultivation of corn and other crops important to the Native diet, and, especially, the Huron language, which the experienced missionaries used routinely in their dealings with the Amerindians and which their newly arrived counterparts set about learning (Trigger [1976] 1987, 818; Morissonneau 1978, 389-90). Before the end of the century, the Huron were moving into new territory, which they called Jeune-Lorette, soon renamed Village-des-Hurons (now Wendake). By 1722, Notre Dame de Lorette had become Ancienne Lorette. Following the lead of their Huron compatriots, the French residing near the new village demonstrated their devotion to Notre Dame de Lorette by christening the new parish Saint-Ambroisede-laJeune-Lorette. The three Lorettes together form what is today designated the Lorette region in the present diocese of Quebec. Forsaking die old for the young Lorette, Chaumonot's successor, Father de Convert, and the Hurons took to the new site everything they could remove from the former chapel including, certainly, the statues and the objects connected with the celebration of mass in the santa Casa (Lindsay 1900, 36, 186-7; Traquair 1930, 8). According to one legend that grew up in the Quebec City area, on two occasions the statue of Our Lady of Lorette miraculously returned to the old mission from the new one (Lindsay 1900, 148; Gros-Louis and Gros-Louis 1980, 90-1). The story is vivid testimony to the deep roots underlying devotion to the Virgin of Lorette and to the degree of popular resistance encountered when devotional

'A New Loreto in New France'


patterns are altered. How could the Holy House function effectively without the miraculous statue and the objects connected with the Loretan tradition? The legend served to restore order in a situation felt to be chaotic, indeed doomed, although it should be added that another statue of the Virgin, resembling to some extent that of Notre Dame de Lorette, had already replaced at Ancienne-Lorette the copy of the statue of Our Lady of Loreto that had been moved to the chapel of Jeune-Lorette (Lindsay 1900, 148-9). The French who had settled around Notre Dame de Lorette, Cote St Paul, Champigny, and St Ange all attended services at the original mission chapel, which as early as 1676 had become for them the equivalent of a parish church (Allard 1979,48,60). In the chapel of the new Huron village, the memory of the Holy House of Ancienne-Lorette was kept alive. On 13 February 1698, Monsignor de Saint-Vallier, bishop of Quebec, granted the sum of one hundred ecus to aid in construction of the new church 'and to further mark our goodwill toward them, we have granted a new title of Notre Dame de Laurette for the chapel which they [the Jesuits] are to build for the Savages, as they have given us to understand that the aforesaid Huron savages have a particular devotion to the mystery and feast-day of Our Lady of Laurette' (Lindsay 1900, 36-7). A sculpture created by Noel LeVasseur in the eighteenth century showing the Holy House being borne by two angels and a cherub can still be seen in the present chapel, affixed to the upper part of the wall above the main altar. Below it, there is another sculpture, presenting the distinctive features of Our Lady of Lorette, behind a decorative wooden plaque reminiscent of the triangular shape of the robe with which the Lorette statue is traditionally adorned. The Huron likewise venerate, in their chapel, a Black Virgin of Loreto blessed by Pope John Paul ii in 1980. In Ancienne-Lorette, after the Huron mission left, parishioners continued to honour the Virgin of Lorette, especially in front of a statue kept in the parish to this day." The Jesuits of Quebec systematically made use of specific JudeoChristian elements characterizing the model of the santa Casa so as to produce the maximum effect on the senses, as well as on the beliefs and devotional practices of the French and Amerindian populations of New France to whom they were proposing that model. Analysing the Jesuits' Marian undertaking allows us to identify and articulate a long list of conditions singled out as favourable to success. First, select a familiar model, one already quite popular with European Christians, and focus on its essential traits. Have first-hand knowledge of the model's impact

214 Andre Sanfafon

and, thus, the ability to offer vivid and abundant testimony about it. Create a network of reliable collaborators with access to the prototype in order to give the model the greatest number of essential characteristics of the original. Wait for the most propitious time at which to inaugurate the model. Involve as many people as possible from the target population, stressing the ripple effect of benefits for all the actors. At every stage of its development and execution, place the responsibility for the realization of the project under the aegis of key religious and political leaders. Complete the project within a reasonable period of time after approval has been secured and work initiated. Appeal in so far as possible to thefivesenses - on which adherence to the model is predicated so that its essential features can be seen, heard, touched, tasted, and smelled. Make very explicit the parallels inextricably linking the prototype and its copy. Be involved in the 'mechanics' of the model's everyday operation, particularly by recommending intentions and formulations for prayers in which the chief distinguishing traits of the model are present. Brook no doubt concerning the model's effectiveness; be convinced and convincing that the constituent elements of the recreated model are imbued with the power of the original. Publicize the blessings bestowed through specific kinds of reliance on the model. Nourish an aura of the extraordinary around the model, thus protecting it from trivialization and all forms of defilement. Strengthen the symbolism of the place of worship through multiple links with complementary Marian traditions. Finally, express gratitude to both the divinity at the centre of the model, to whom all blessings received are publicly attributed, and, as well, to the collaborators helping to make the model work, for their indispensable support. Father Chaumonot had been able to bring all these conditions together to maximum effect, apparendy ensuring that the model of the santa Casa would function optimally (although for a limited time) by first informing his Jesuit colleagues, and then the elite of Quebec, of his plans. The operational impact of the model of the Holy House made a striking impression on all the missionaries. In October 1676, Fatherjean Enjalran was only too happy to serve as their spokesman, stating, 'Our savages have an admirable veneration for this place ... All the people agree that there are in this mission persons of eminent holiness' (JR6o: 144-5). In Europe throughout the second half of the seventeenth century, the fervour displayed by the faithful towards the Italian shrine of Loreto was maintained, even though the peak of its glory had come at the end of the sixteenth century, when tens of thousands of pilgrims flocked

'A New Lore to in New France' 215

there at a time. Beginning with Julius H, a succession of popes reinforced the Holy House's renown by granting it exceptional titles and privileges. For example, in 1676 and 1682, Pope Innocent xi had the image of the santa Casa superimposed on Agnus Dei medallions, with the words 'Sancta Maria Lauretana ora pro nobis' (Holy Mary of Loreto, pray for us). Some years earlier, in 1671, the Sulpician Alexandre de Bretonvilliers, who had succeeded Jean-Jacques Olier at the head of that order, did as their venerable founder had done in 1630, making 'the pilgrimage to Loreto, which he called the earthly paradise; he left a gold medal there, whose weight was the same as ten louis, on which the image of the Seminary of St Sulpice was engraved' (Chevalier 1906,400i). Gifts converged on the treasury of Loreto at a steady pace from everywhere in Europe. Published versions of the account of the Holy House's four-time translation were widely circulated. Nevertheless, there were persistent and growing objections to the story, and not just in Jansenist circles. Louis Moreri, writing in Le grand dictionnaire historique ([1674] cited by Chevalier 1906, 401), observed of Loreto that 'the objections are stronger than the answers,' while men of letters, such as Mabillon in 1685, went to Loreto in the course of journeys to Italy without being persuaded by accounts of the translation. Veneration of Our Lady of Loreto continued outside of Italy as well. In 1673, tne year before the Jesuits of Quebec established the Huron mission at the Lorette site, Gerard van Herdegom, the priest of Baarle in the Netherlands, erected in his parish a chapel modelled on Loreto's santa Casa. His goal was to foster devotion to the Virgin in the North Brabant region, subject, as it was, to strong pressure from Dutch Protestantism. Miracles attributed to Mary were represented in the chapel, along with Marian symbols (Mekking 1975). In 1697, the year the Huron had to leave Lorette for Jeune-Lorette, the Jesuit Juan Maria de Salvatierra founded, at the southwestern tip of the North American continent, the first permanent Californian mission, placing it under the protection of the Virgin at Loreto in Baja California (Mathes 1980). Back in New France, when the Sulpician mission to the Mohawk moved to Sault-au-Recollet in 1701, 'the seminary had a fort constructed of stakes, defended by three bastions, with a chapel built on the model of Notre Dame of Loreto, in Italy, which gave the name Nouvelk-Lorette to the mission of Sault au Recollet' (Faillon 1853, 2: 169, cited by Lindsay 1900, 144). The Sulpicians were hoping that the same benefits would be conferred on the Mohawk by a model of the santa Casa as had been observed among a majority of the Huron and Iroquois at Lorette mission.

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Father Chaumonot's ardent and unflagging devotion to Our Lady of Loreto was clearly no isolated phenomenon. In Italy, France, the Netherlands, and other European countries, and in the American missions from New France to Baja California, and elsewhere in Latin America, the model of the Holy House was chosen as a powerful symbol of affirmation, and of resistance to Protestantism. It was seen as an effective means of making converts and of proceeding on the road to Christian perfection that, in a mystic and mythic leap, was ascribed to the early church. Mission lands were to constitute a second Holy Land, sites of divine election snatched away from 'barbarism' and shielded, in so far as possible, from the vices of 'civilization.' Perfection and primitivism were allied ideas, central to the Catholic Reformation. The Virgin of Loreto, of the Incarnation, returned believers to the dawn of Christianity and the Church, symbolizing for them both birth and rebirth to spiritual life. The Loretan tradition served to decentre the representation of the Holy Land (fallen into the hands of 'infidels' and 'barbarians') by asserting a four-fold translation of the Holy House of the Virgin Mary from Nazareth to its site at Loreto, in Italy - the home of Christianity and high 'civilization.' The tradition was also a part of vast centrifugal forces in Europe, such as the Counter-Reformation; these forces lay behind Loretan doctrine and the Marian triumph at Loreto's basilica. Centrifugal, too, was the export of the Holy House to the soil of the New World, spinning off into the new Lorelos that sprouted up in the Americas to enhance a missionary endeavour utterly sworn - and here I am borrowing the words of Father Chaumonot and his colleagues - 'to gain ... ascendancy' over Native minds in order 'to adapt Them to our Christian customs' (JR 18: 18-19; 5?: 68-9). The construction of the chapel and the Huron village inspired by Our Lady of Loreto and the associated devotions focusing on Jesus, Mar)', Joseph, Anne, Joachim, the holy angels, and the santa Casa, together with the chapel's furnishings, utensils, articles of cloth and apparel, formed a unified whole producing an indisputable effect right down to the present on Amerindians and the French alike, as it once did on Father Chaumonot. All of this tended towards a polarisation of devotions between French and Amerindians, with the result of altering specific facets of everyday behaviour in the colony. This Christianizing or 'civilizing' mission was obviously understood entirely in terms of the European frame of reference. Yet it would be unwise to conclude that the Loretan model led to an invevitable decline in female rank and consequent upgrading of male rank within Huron society. The symbolic

'A New Loreto in New France' 217

thrust of the model and its teachings is ambivalent: if the Virgin of the Holy House of Lorette is the servant of God and of her family, she is also a powerful woman, inheritor of a lineage, queen of the village of Notre Dame de Lorette and treated as such in her house or chapel around which the life of the protected community revolved. Totally dependent on the French for their survival, beginning in 1648 or perhaps even 1647 - in the eye of the Iroquois hurricane sweeping across their ancestral Huronia (Trigger [1976] 1987, 749-50) - the Christianized Hurons followed their missionaries and settler allies to the region around Quebec. From then on, in a twin quest for security and identity, the Huron found themselves in a situation that offered certain advantages even though it also implied a process of assimilation and resistance, accommodation and continuity. Devotions to the Virgin and the Holy House were inseparable in Loretan practice, using the basic components of belief to give rise to a complex and powerful model, capable of nurturing the spiritual progress in New France of French and Amerindians alike, through family roles assigned by the canons of a Western and Christian civilization then undergoing transformation (Muchembled 1988; Delumeau 1983, 1989). The Virgin of Loreto/Lorette represents the glorification of Mary, the humble servant of God, 'our all-gracious mother and allpowerful protectress' (/R60: 70-1), the one who shows the way to meditation upon the mysteries of the Annunciation and Incarnation by means of accessible, tangible objects such as her house, bed, wardrobe, garments, dishes. An ideal model of family life is presented: that of the Holy Family - inheritors of Anne and Joachim's house - whose lives exemplified the passive virtues of obedience, humility, and purity. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus shared supposedly around twenty-five years of a modest existence spent in domestic work and carpentry, the parents' efforts unfailingly seconded by the help of their son, Jesus. In die seventeenth-century mystical perspective shaping Father Chaumonot's spirituality, the veneration of the Holy Family and Holy House of Loreto was not a mere devotion to be added to a host of others, but rather a genuine duty for which distance granted no dispensation: in order to pay the homage due to that place and its sainted figures, it would be necessary to build in America a copy of the house from Nazareth. There is no reason to doubt the Jesuit's sincerity as he trod the path to sanctification by fulfilling his obligations towards the Holy Family - in particular, the Blessed Virgin, his adoptive mother - and the 'historic' sites that had housed them. Nor is there any doubt that the same

2i8 Andre Sanfafon

devotion helped impose the values of a society predicated on authority especially patriarchal authority - on an Amerindian culture that had always laid greater stress on liberty and, owing to its matrilineal and matrilocal structure, had assigned much greater power to women.Ia The power enjoyed by Huron women had been immense compared to that of their European counterparts, still considered minors at that time, subject to the authority of father or spouse. Devotion to the Holy House made it possible to emphasize nuclear family organization: the benevolent authority of the chaste Joseph, and the honourable place of Mary in the house left her by her mother, surrounded by familiar household objects, lavishing attention upon her husband and son in the course of daily domestic routine. This model was ideal for the Amerindians, who believed that objects as well as beings possessed a soul. Imbued with the tradition of Loreto, where he had gone as beggar, patient, pilgrim, novice, and priest, and under whose aegis he had placed his missionary venture in Canada, Father Chaumonot remained faithful to his calling throughout his years among the Huron, whom he knew better than any other European. He was convinced that his work first in Huronia, then around Quebec - was suited to the needs of Amerindians and French colonists, both of whom, he believed, had everything to learn from the models of spiritual life he was offering them. A good Christian is, first of all, a child who obeys and respects his or her parents, who, in their turn, submit to divine will in sobriety and chastity. In his struggle against marital discord (whether among Amerindians or the French), drunkenness, and infidelity (/R6o: 78-81), and for progress towards a healthier spiritual life, under Tridentine precepts and the moral code promulgated by the Catholic Reformation, PierreJoseph-Marie Chaumonot, adopted son of the Virgin of Loreto and of St Ignatius, and their devoted admirer and loyal servant, relied on the unquestioned values of his time. These would sanctify the family, infancy, and childhood, creating a special fervour in the celebration of maternity (conception, pregnancy, birth, nursing), all revealed in the devotions to the Holy House, the Holy Family, the Infant Jesus, and, at Notre Dame de Lorette in 1678, in the Huron's self-offering to Our Lady of Chartres, the Virgo paritum, the 'Virgin about to give birth' (Lemieux 1985, 159-73; Sanfacon 1996), As a missionary priest, Chaumonot sought to guide Amerindians and French alike on the path towards salvation. This endeavour was the essential collective project in the reformist yet absolutist seventeenth century, where miracles could be seen wherever one wanted to find them; where vows and prayers were the usual route to hopes of divine succour and saving grace; and

'A New Loreto in New France' 219 where the marvellous routinely intervened, even in scientific explanation (Delumeau 1989, 179-219; Sole 1979, 207-8).

NOTES 1 The parish church Sanctae Mariae in fundo Laureti, whose construction dales hack to the last quarter of the twelfth century, was placed under the patronage of the Nativity of Mary, and not of the Incarnation, and was a site of Marian pilgrimage well before the legend of the Holy House took root (Chevalier 1906, 223-7). For a brief account of the phases of construction of the basilica and subsequent alterations of importance, see the article 'Loreto,' in the Endclapedia italiana di scienze, lettere ed arti (Rome, 1949), 504-5, and the accompanying photographs. 2 Known essentially through the accounts assembled by Reuben Gold Thwaites in The Jesuit Relations (1896-1901) and through archaeological research, the era during which European and Amerindian involvement led to the 'upheaval of Huron territory' has been the object of numerous studies. See, for example, Trigger [1976] 1987 and 1978; Delage 1993; Heidenreich 1971; and Salisbury 1996. The documents of the Jesuits in New France are being re-edited by Fr. Lucien Oampeau (Campeau 1967-94). 3 Chauinonot adds: 'all these things, or even those resembling them, are miraculous here.' The chapel of Notre Dame de Lorette thus had two dishes from Italy: the first one sent by Father Poncet, the other given by Mother de la Nativite, a nun from the convent of the Hotel-Dieu at Quebec, who had received it from Madame Barbe de Boullongne, widow of Governor Louis d'Ailleboust. The museum of the Village-des-Hurons or Wendake still contains one of the two dishes saved from the chapel fire of 1862 (Lindsay 1900, 186-7). 4 See also Quebec, Archives of the Monastery of the Hotel-Dieu, F. i C. 176, No. i. 5 'The name dogiquewas. given to the savage whose piety and instruction made him worthy of substituting during devotional exercises when the mi.ssionaiy was absent' (Chaumonot 1885, 190). 6 Father Chaumonot was not the only one in Quebec well acquainted with the santa Casain Italy; in fact, the Relation for 1673-4 mentions, with respect to the 'beautiful parallel between the Loretto of Canada and the Loretto of Europe,' that 'all who have seen both consider that they arc exactly similar' (JR 58: 156-7). Plans of the Holy House had, moreover, been published; see Philippon 1649. 7 Chevalier (1906, 368-70) says of Torsellini's work, 'No other book on Loreto

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8 9

10 11


has enjoyed such a success/ but notes that 'his statements concerning the quadruple translation [of the santa Casa] rest on no proof worthy of a serious historian's attention.' This wood was taken from an oak tree in whose trunk a woodcutter had, in 1609, found a small statue of the Virgin (Hayot 1939, 9-11). For devotion in New France to the Holy Family, especially with regard to the religious fraternity named for them, see Cliche 1988, 158-70. Beginning in 1642, Montreal's Notre Dame Society dedicated the future city to the Holy Family. Quebec, Archives of the Monasteiy of the Hotel-Dieu, F.i, C.iy6, No.i. Archaeological excavations in August 1983 by Gilles Drolet and his team with research completed by Michel Gaumond, archaeologist with the Quebec Ministry of Culture - made it possible to find and authenticate remnants of brick walls from the original chapel 'less than one hundred feet from the [present] church' in Ancienne-Lorette (Drolet 1985, iii). A cartoon booklet, with text by Gilles Drolet and drawings by Paul Roux, reconstructs Father Chaumonot's itinerary as a missionary (Drolet 1989). Feminist studies have given us new perspectives on this question, in the light of seventeenth-century social values and their enduring influences. For Karen Anderson (1991), the Jesuits came to New France consciously and determinedly bearing a new social and moral order, characterized by values that hinged on wealth, power, prestige, fear, submission, and fidelity. Jesuit action, therefore, helped put Amerindian women under the domination of men. For her part, Laura Peers (1996), in a study of the cultivation of Marian devotion by the Jesuits working among the Salish (Flatheads) in the nineteenth century in what is now Montana, maintains that Marian devotional practices became potent tools for assimilation via the introduction of Western Christian models of conjugal and family life. From this perspective, the veneration of the Holy House and Holy Family in the mission of Notre Dame de Lorette furnished the chief illustration of the European model of the nuclear family, with roles divided among husband and wife, father and mother, grandfather and grandmother, evoking a paradigm of family life claimed to be ideal.


Decentring at Work

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The Delights of Nature in This New World: A Seventeenth-Century Canadian View of the Environment Lynn Berry

On a day in early October 1663, the governor of Trois-Rivieres, Pierre Boucher, hastened to add the final words to his treatise on the natural history of Canada so that it might be carried on a ship bound for France the moment that the wind was favourable. Florentin Lambert published Boucher's slender book in Paris the following year and offered it to his customers on the Rue Saint-Jacques as the Histoire Veritable et naturelle des moeurs et productions du Pays de la Nouvelle France vulgairement dite le Canada.1 French readers found fifteen short chapters in the Histoire: four of them surveyed Boucher's experience of Iroquoian and Algonquian cultures, but the majority of the book was dedicated to the geography and climate, the flora and fauna, of his adopted country, Canada. The view of the natural environment that Boucher presents in his treatise sets the book apart from the literature published in France at that time. When we compare his portrayal of the natural world to that which appeared in scientific publications, in literature, even in works written by others who had experienced Canadian nature themselves, we see that no one offered his particular combination of detailed and ordered observation touched with affectionate appreciation. Most importantly, no other French author conveyed the same sense of pride and belonging connected with a New World landscape. Boucher and his contemporaries in France held many values in common, but the differences in their portrayals of nature show that he thought beyond the needs of France when he wrote his Histoire. It was a visit to France, after twenty-seven years intensely lived in the Canadian environment and amidst its indigenous peoples, that caused Boucher to recognize clearly and marvel at the differences between the land he was born in and the land that he had chosen as his home. Look-


Lynn Berry

ing around him on his return to Canada, he saw the abundance and diversity of the natural world with new eyes, and wrote about it in a way that other writers could not duplicate. His observations show that he had experienced a process of hybridization, and had become a kind of acclimatized and hardy transplant, like those plants or animals brought from France that he described as thriving in the New World. Pierre Boucher's experience of Canada began in 1635, at the age of thirteen, when he and his parents and siblings emigrated from Mortagne in Normandy to the town of Quebec. As a teenager, he was a lay assistant to the Jesuits at their Huron mission. He went on to become a soldier, an official interpreter of Native languages for the colonial governor, and a fur trade post manager. Later, he became governor of Trois-Rivieres, a seigneur, and a judge. In 1661, Boucher received letters of nobility for organizing Trois-Rivieres against a prolonged Iroquois siege (Roy 1926, 401-2). The settlements of the St Lawrence valley region had faced determined and constant Iroquois resistance with little respite for the previous two decades, and the colony was in a deplorable state. Owing to his years of experience at the forefront of French defence, his knowledge of the country, and his position as noble and seigneur, Boucher was chosen by the colonial governor to travel to France and solicit military aid from Louis XTV and his ministers. On his return from this mission in the summer of 1662, Boucher composed his Histoire and returned it to Paris for publication the following year. Boucher had several motives for writing his Histoire, all of them based more on local interests than on those of the mother country. One goal was to offer an accurate description of his adopted home to those in France who had besieged him with questions, questions that revealed distorted views acquired from short-term visitors. As gratified as he was by their interest, he was deeply troubled that Canada was being misrepresented out of ignorance or malice. Boucher's second aim was to remind the king of his promised economic and military assistance to the colony, and to that end he included in his Histoire frequent and often intense denunciations of 'our enemy,' the Iroquois. What good are the natural advantages of Canada, he asked, when such bounty remained untouched because the Iroquois war 'prevents us from exploring it, as it is desirable we should' (Boucher [1664] 1883, 14). His third goal was to use his own experience to offer information and advice to potential immigrants. His treatise, however, was not simply a piece of colonial propaganda or a dutiful response to a request for information from Colbert, the king's first minister, as some historians have claimed (Trudel

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in Boucher [1664] 1964, ix-x; Levere andjarrell 1974, 4; Douville 1969; 19703, 8, 32). Boucher makes it clear in his preface that composing such a document had long been his own idea (Boucher [1664] 1883, 8, 9). And although he dedicates his book to Colbert, he makes no reference to a specific request from Colbert for such a treatise. Boucher, who was one of the more important seigneurs in Canada, holding title to four seigneuries totalling over 13,000 hectares, needed to establish settlers or risk losing uncleared lands to the Crown for redistribution. Cole Harris, who wrote sceptically about the seigneurs' ability to create settlement in the seventeenth century, called Boucher one of the 'most energetic colonizer [s] in all the ranks of Canadian seigneurs' (Harris 1968, 104). As much as he wanted colonists, Boucher was not willing to accept just anyone France cared to send him. His intention of guiding the colonization process is evident behind the advice he offers in his Histoire. While he praises the abundant resources that would provide a settler's subsistence in Canada, he makes it clear that they belong only to hardworking, honest habitants who would settle permanently, as he himself had done. He wanted no urban dandies longing for the luxuries of Paris, nor was he much interested in hivernants - those domestics, soldiers, missionaries, traders, or government officials who aimed to return to France after an indefinite stay and never made a commitment to the colony. Libertines, scapegraces, or 'filles mal-vivantes' who slipped into the country and who did not reform he threatened with expulsion or death: 'We know how to hang people in this country as well as they do elsewhere, and we have proved it to some who have not been well behaved' (Boucher [1664] 1883, 15, 78). With these motives in mind, Boucher presented the Histoire to his audience. 'Speaking of New France as a whole,' Boucher begins, with admiration, '1 may say that it is a good country, and one that contains in itself a good portion of ail that can be wished for'(Boucher [1664] 1883, 13). In succeeding chapters, he takes his readers across the known regions of this 'very large country ... divided in two by a great river, called the Saint Lawrence,' whose source was as mysterious as the full extent of the continent (14, 16). He describes the natural advantages of the land: the productive soils, the 'dense and very fine forests,' the great quantides of animals of diverse species, the remarkable number of lakes and rivers bordered with fine grasslands and teeming with Fish and waterfowl for seemingly unlimited hunting and fishing. He devotes five chapters to descriptions of over 150 species of plants and trees, mammals, birds, and fish of the Laurentian colony, including 44 birds,

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24 land and 3 marine mammals, 25 fish, 28 trees and shrubs, and 22 edible plants. He notes the most productive resources and connects a number of them to habitats and seasons. He indicates, for example, the ideal months for pigeon hunting or smelt fishing, and notes that certain conifers grow in damp places and that the preferred habitat of the black bear is the oak forests near Montreal (31, 36, 43, 45). In the interests of candour, he acknowledges what he considers 'the most troublesome and disagreeable things' - the Iroquois war, mosquitoes, rattlesnakes, and the length of winter (76-8). He nonetheless praises the countiy as remarkably healthy: animals and plants from France were thriving; habitant children grew up 'well formed, tall and robust'; rare plants had marvellous curative powers; and even 'in the coldest place here winter is a more cheerful season than it is in France' (13-14, 71). Boucher's appreciation of this bountiful land increases as he surveys it from the Adantic coast, eastward to Tadoussac and Quebec, and further up the St Lawrence to Trois-Rivieres and Montreal. Only his desire for brevity restrains his enthusiastic descriptions of the charms of the lands to the west, controlled by the Iroquois: 'I could not describe to you all the beautiful places in those countries, nor the good things to be found there, and at the same time be brief, as I intend to be* (24). The brevity of Boucher's natural history does not limit its significance in comparison to the work of his contemporaries. During this period, the words 'histoire naturelle' signified a simple description of natural phenomena. Unlike what contemporaries termed 'natural philosophy,' natural history did not search for the causes of phenomena or attempt to explain how living things functioned (Roger 1995, 201). Natural history was actually not a popular topic in mid-seventeenth-century France. A variety of such works had appeared in most European countries in the century before Boucher wrote, but by the early seventeenth century, mathematics, mechanics, and physics attracted the majority of scholars, whether professional or amateur. It was to this audience that Jacques Rohault's System of Natural Philosophy (1671) appealed, with its exposition of Cartesian physics, chemistry, astronomy, and physiology. In France the period was one of increased scientific study; scholarly societies and academies were formed and advancements in the use of microscopes and dissection led to intense focus on a single plant or animal species. There was no serious renewal of interest in natural history until the 16705, and that took place in England before it spread to Europe (Roger 1995,199-200).2 Those few works on the natural world that were printed immediately after Boucher's Histoire were either treatises based

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on dissections of individual species or religiously motivated tracts showing nature as the handiwork of God (Pinon 1995, 18; Roger 1995, 200). Boucher never discussed the relationship between God and the natural environment in his Histoire, notwithstanding the strong religious convictions evident in his later writings; he preferred rational, not supernatural, explanations for natural phenomena. Only in his brief mention of the Laurentian earthquake of 1663 does Boucher write of divine influence in the natural world, claiming that God had ensured no one was hurt by this otherwise natural phenomenon (Boucher [1664] 1964, 10). His descriptions of birds and animals include a strong sense of habitat, sight, and sound almost completely lacking among the zoologists of the day. The prevailing Cartesian philosophy of the mechanistes, which insisted, among other things, that animals were nothing more than complicated machines, did not resonate at all in Boucher's sensitive descriptions of the 'wonderful skill' of the beaver or 'delicate and pretty' flying squirrel (Boucher [1664] 1883, 39). For Boucher, the natural world was not a vast, impersonal machine but more a complex, living whole. In the non-scientific literature of Boucher's day, as in the scientific, the absence of the natural world is striking. Where it is represented, nature is reduced to an idealized theatrical backdrop to the dialogue of pleasant company. Boucher's writing stands out in a time when the sterility of artificial norms 'killed or paralysed everything that it touched [in literature]' (Marion 1964, 245; see also Auregan 1990, 85). When Boucher notes 'the quantity and variety of the beautiful flowers to be found [in Iroquois country]' (Boucher [1664] 1883, 49), his words convey a sense of joy at the beauty of the natural world. In contrast, Marie de I'lncarnation, the Ursuline nun at Quebec, assured her sister at home in Tours that 'we have [flower seeds and bulbs] brought from France for our garden having none here that are very exceptional or beautiful (Guyart [1626-72] 1971, no. 149, 501). Nor did Boucher's ideal of landscape resemble that of French authors who extolled the idyllic and pastoral; he praised the soils suitable for farming in Canada, but wrote more often and enthusiastically about hunting and fishing in the forests and marshes. If Boucher's natural history had no counterpart in the French literature of the period, what of those authors who had experienced seventeenth-century Canada before him? We find observations on nature made by Marc Lescarbot, who was in Acadia in 1606-7, by the Recollet missionary Gabriel Sagard on the basis of ten months in Huronia in

228 Lynn Berry

1623-4, and by Samuel de Champlain in accounts of his twelve visits to New France from 1603 to 1635. Several Jesuit priests also made reference to Canada's geography, flora, and fauna in their Relations and internal correspondence (Levere and Jarrell 1974, 3). There are similarities between their comments on Canadian nature and those of Boucher. Lescarbot wrote appreciatively of productive soils; Champlain praised the bounteous hunting and fishing; some Jesuits approved of the invigorating climate. But when we look more closely, we see that these authors cannot match Boucher's roots in the Canadian environment or the scope or accuracy of his knowledge about it. Most of these writers reported their observations as travellers in a foreign land. Their language is that of a visitor, referring to New France as 'there,* not 'here.' Samuel de Champlain, for example, despite his years in the colony, remained a visitor: 'I have always enjoyed my visits to New France' (Champlain [1619] 1970, 23). Much of their work is in the form of journals kept while moving through the landscape, one often fraught with dangers. To promote their cause and inspire their patrons, explorers and missionaries alike dramatized natural perils, although missionaries were generally more interested in ethnography than in their natural surroundings. Gabriel Sagard listed the hazards and discomfort of travel in the Canadian woods as trials willingly endured for his mission (Sagard [1632] 1990, 123-4). Champlain wanted it known that he endured his perils and risks in the service of the king (Champlain 192236, 3: 247-9) • A genuine or prolonged interest in the natural world for its own sake was far from being a hallmark of Jesuit thought, Peter Goddard suggests that 'seventeenth-century French Jesuit accounts stressed the moral history of the native, and spent comparatively little time understanding the Canadian environment' (Goddard 1995,48). Colonial promoters, by contrast, tended to reduce the natural world in Canada to geographic and economic details that promised dependable commerce and great annual profits to merchants and the court. As such, many promoters simply enumerated the natural commodities that they hoped for, occasionally dropping short lists of the names of trees, fish, birds, or mammals into their narrative, and only rarely adding descriptive details.3 Sometimes, in their eagerness to encourage investors, they portrayed parts of Canada as almost a terrestrial paradise. Marc Lescarbot, the Parisian lawyer and intellectual disappointed by corruption in France, exaggerated the noble qualities of Acadia and its inhabitants using classical and Biblical references, no matter howr strained the comparison (Carile 1988, 86). Others included the occa-

A Seventeenth-Century View of the Environment


sional fantastic creature in their work to please audiences who expected exotic tales from faraway lands. Among Champlain's generally realistic accounts, he includes such unusual denizens as a bird 'as big as a hen and yellow all over except for a red head and blue wings' (Champlain [1619] 1970, 59). For almost all of the authors who wrote about Canada before Boucher, nature was an incidental part of a discourse motivated from the court, the church, commerce, or curiosity centred in France. Boucher's account of Canadian nature differed from these in almost every respect. As a seigneur, he understood as well as any Frenchman the advantages of drawing 'utilitez' from the land, but he was scornful of those who wanted only to take money out of the country. When asked in France about the profit to be made in Canada, he wrote, 'that gave me an inclination to laugh ... I seemed to see people who wanted to reap a harvest before they had sowed anything' (Boucher [1664] 1883, 73). He cautioned his readers against unproven reports such as those about gems in the Lake Superior district or the curative power of balsam gum (SO, 83). Moreover, he did not wish to recruit immigrants under false pretences with fictional Edenic landscapes, nor did he seek to impress readers with rash claims or tales of danger. His work is remarkably free of error and exaggeration, and is concrete and accurate enough in its description of flora and fauna that we can recognize the great majority of the species that he describes. Boucher's descriptions of birds and animals are exceeded in simplicity and freshness only by those of Sagard. The Recollet's descriptions of the hummingbird or a hibernating bear were probably inspired by his Franciscan training (Carile 1988, 89). For him, natural wonders were marvellous signs of God's creative powers and providence. Though Sagard wrote of the natural environment with detailed delight, he was a passing observer in an exotic land and was willing to rely on unsubstantiated hearsay to explain the things he saw, particularly if it offered evidence of God's design in the New World. For example, he had heard that the hummingbird slept through the winter, clasped to a branch from October to April (Sagard [1632] 1990, 301). He readily added this story to the list of singular Canadian birds that inspired him to be '[content] d'admirer et louer Dieu' (Sagard [1632] 1990, 303). (Bird migration was not considered seriously until the advent of bird banding in the early nineteenth century.) Boucher's natural history, however, is born of long residence and patient observation in one place over time. He sometimes criticizes the ignorance of French newcomers to Canada such as those new arrivals who mistook the bellowing calls of bullfrogs


Lynn Berry

for those of elk - and he criticizes the captains from France who did not respect the skill of Iroquois warriors and paid for their ignorance with their lives (Boucher [1664] 1883, 41, 77). His detailed and systematic natural history did not have the naivety of a newly arrived Frenchman; it was not an appendix describing commodities in an explorer's journal, or an incidental inspiration in a missionary's report. Though the authors before him had actually experienced the Canadian environment, they did not, at heart, have the same understanding of it or attachment to it that Boucher had (see Warwick in Sagard, 1990). In Marcel Trudel's words, 'no one understood better than he did, no one had had more actual experience of New France, or more varied' (Trudel in Boucher [1664] 1964, preface). Influences in Boucher's life may explain his exceptional approach to nature in the New World. As we have seen, his long residence in Canada gave him a profound appreciation of the wild environment. This residence was shaped by interaction with the people who knew Canadian nature best, the Iroquoian and Algonquian peoples whom he describes in the Histoire. The complexities of Boucher's attitudes towards different Native groups, as revealed in the section of his treatise devoted to them, are outside the scope of this paper, but we can consider the ways in which his view of the natural world was affected by contact with Amerindians. At a time when many of the young people of New France were being deeply influenced by Native society, two significant events in Boucher's early years brought him into particularly close contact with Native customs and the environment. The first influence was the young Boucher's four years as a lay assistant to the Jesuit fathers at their mission in Huron country. Native paddlers had transported him the 1,300 kilometres from Quebec to Georgian Bay. For all the Jesuits' emphasis on conversion, the missions were predominantly Native environments. Boucher would have adopted aspects of Huron dress and food, resided in a bark lodge, cut firewood in the forests, worked in the fields of maize and squash, and joined with Huron warriors in the defence of the mission against Iroquois attack. The impact of such an intensely lived experience on a teenager only recently arrived in Canada from a pastoral Norman village must have been profound. The Marquis de Denonville, a contemporary of Boucher's who was the governor of New France, complained in a letter to Paris, 'I would not know, Monseigneur, how to sufficiently express to you the attraction that the life of the savages has for all the young people' (quoted in Delage 1992, 154). Its influence on his view of the environment is revealed in the Histoire. Journeys in the woods and

A Seventeenth-Century View of the Environment 231

on the waters of Huronia appear in Boucher's descriptions of the construction of the birch bark canoe, of negotiating river rapids and portages, of dealing with 'surprisingly irksome' mosquitoes (Boucher [1664] 1883, 28, 30, 32, 50-1, 75, 77). Native snowshoes aided his winter travel and bolstered his uncommon appreciation for winter: 'We go all about on the snow, by the aid of certain foot gear, made by the Indians, which we call snowshoes, and which are very convenient' (20). By contrast, Champlain, for example, gives no indication in his writings that he used such contrivances himself: They make a sort of racket,' he observed, 'which they attach to their feet' (Champlain [1604] 1993, i l l ) . Boucher also writes of Native farming, of their use of wild plants or animals for food, dye, or medicine. His knowledge of animal behaviour and habitat were no doubt learned when hunting or fishing with his Native hosts. Boucher's descriptions of birds are more detailed for those species that he hunts: 'I will name to you only those that are near to us, and that we kill every day' (Boucher [1664] 1883, 41). Raymond Douville wonders if Boucher's ideals of agricultural communalism, which he pursued later in life at his seigneury of Boucherville, were inspired by the agricultural subsistence of the Huron corn farmers (Douville, I970b, 25). The second event that ensured the continued influence of Native views and culture on Boucher and his connection to the environment was his marriage to a Native woman. During his years among the Huron he had learned several Native dialects well enough to be appointed, at eighteen, as official interpreter for Governor Montmagny on military and diplomatic missions. This led him to a position as a fur trade post manager in the frontier town of Trois-Rivieres, at the crossroads of many Amerindian trade routes. It was here, in 1649, that he married Marie-Madeleine Ouebadinoukoue, dz7Chretienne (Jette 1983, 136; Roy 1934, 38-9). This was an uncommon event. Government policy to encourage intermarriage had produced only one other 'official' wedding during Boucher's twenty years in the Trois-Rivieres region (Charbonneau and Legare 1980, 4: 146). Marie had received some education with the Ursulines, but such francisation was not always profound. 4 In the time they had together before she died after the birth of their first son, it is likely that she brought vital kinship relations and her experience of Native ways of life to her marriage.5 It could have been Marie who taught him some of the Native names for the fish and plants that he used in his Histoire. Her relatives might have been those who Boucher referred to as the Amerindians he trusted for information of distant places (Boucher [1664] 1883, 11, 14).

232 Lynn Berry

Yet, if interactions with Native peoples shaped Boucher's vision of the New World, it was probably his one-year visit to France that most stirred his awareness of the benefits of his adopted country. We know that he was prompted to write about Canadian society by the misunderstandings about it he encountered in France. Could the state of the French environment itself have caused him to see Canadian nature in a new light on his return? Perhaps the roiling waters of the St Lawrence seemed more remarkable after the sluggish Seine; it may be that the healthy children of Canada were proof to Boucher of its invigorating climate after seeing the poverty of the French peasantry. The Seine, in contrast to the beautiful St Lawrence, was polluted (Braudel 1981, 229); and when Boucher made his visit to France, that country was still recovering from the major grain famine of 1660-2 (Moogk 1989, 470). On his return to Canada, Boucher wrote that 'All the poor people would do better here than in France' (Boucher [1664] 1883, 81). Certainly in the frequent comparisons he made in the Histoire, the resources of Canada are described as surpassing those of France. He positively glows about many things that he feels are superior: the St Lawrence grasslands are more verdant, the fruits of the wild hawthorn are larger and more delicious, and the local eels taste much better than any to be found in France.'1 He is as quick to point out the drawbacks in his former country, such as the insect-infested crops or the wolves that he felt to be more vicious than those of Canada (Boucher [1664] 1883, 37. 47)- His most telling remarks are about those exiled in France by the Iroquois war who were anxious to return to the delights of New France: I can assure you that ... there are few of those who have come here who have any intention to return to France, unless called there by affairs of great importance; and I tell you candidly that during my stay in Paris and elsewhere, last year, I met with many persons in easy circumstances who had formerly been inhabitants of Canada, and had left it on account of the war, who assured me that they were full of impatience to return to it, so true it is that New France has attractions for those who know how to appreciate its delights. (Boucher [1664] 1883, 15)

It is evidently not nostalgia that causes Boucher to make comparisons with the nature of France. Rather, he does so as a New World resident struggling to convey the bounty of his world to people who could scarcely imagine it. The abundance of eels would be inconceivable to anyone who had not seen it (45-6). He repeatedly points to the veracity

A Seventeenth-Century View of the Environment


of his experience as an eyewitness, cutting short his ardent descriptions of the environment as if he believes that only personal experience, not mere words, could hope to encompass the abundance and diversity of the land in which he lives. 'I assure you, my dear readers,' he writes 'that I have seen the greater part of all that I speak of (11). Boucher did not refer to himself in the Histoire as a Canadian, as the term was not yet commonly used to designate the French residents of the St Lawrence region." Nonetheless, his ideal of landscape - the forests intersected with rivers, wetlands bordered with grassy meadows, wildlife in abundance - was clearly centred in Canada. He invoked the environment as part of the identity and destiny of 'ce pays naissaiit' and, perhaps unconsciously, as part of his own identity, even though he had not been born there. Ethnobiologist Jacques Rousseau, studying Boucher's role as naturalist and geographer, suggests that having arrived in the country at a young age, Boucher considered himself native-born (Rousseau in Boucher [1664] 1964, 267). We may suspect that his identification with the New World landscape in the Histoire is a sign of emerging Canadian colonial pride, for as David Arnold points out, 'The importance of an appreciation of one's own country through its natural sights and wonders as well as its representative plants, birds and animals (rather than the mythical beasts of the medieval world) began to form a significant basis for emerging national identities in Europe as early as the sixteenth century' (Arnold 1996, 137). Notwithstanding his appreciation for it, Boucher did not admire the natural beauty of Canada without condition. When he aimed to 'make a new world of it,' he did not propose to leave it untouched or pursue Native ways of life, despite his close connections to their society in his early years. Boucher was a hybrid; the inspiration for his Histoire came from two worlds. French ideals of land use informed those he acquired from almost thirty years of exposure to the Canadian environment and its Native inhabitants. France was not a foreign country to him, for he accepted its honours with pleasure and expected Canada would remain within the French domain. The colony's growth, he claimed, would ensure that 'the French name should become equally renowned in both worlds, in America and in Europe' (Boucher [1664] 1883, 8). The king might continue to claim Boucher's allegiance, but it was the 'new' France and its environment that claimed his affection. His vision of nature in the Histoirewas not limited by a missionary's desire to focus on conversions or God's creativity in an exotic land, by an explorer's anxiety to prove a path to riches, or a colonizer's need to feed the ambitions


Lynn Berry

of his court patrons. Comparison to the Old World nation that Boucher had left behind inspired his admiration for the delights of the New World that had become his home. NOTES 1 Or The True and Natural History of the Customs and Productions of the (Country of New France, Commonly Known as Canada. Unless noted otherwise, quotations are based on the English translation of the Histoire Veritable published by one of Boucher's descendants, Edward Louis Montizambert — Canada in the Seventeenth Century, cited as Boucher [1664] 1883. This translation is generally accurate, but when Montizambert omitted words or entire passages, bowdlerized descriptions, or slightly altered meanings, I have used my own translations. These corrections are based on the facsimile reproduction of Histoire Vmtabk et naturelle, cited as Boucher [1664] 1964. Translations of all other French texts are my own. Boucher used the terms 'New France' and 'Canada' interchangeably. As New France actually represented a much broader portion of North American territory than the Great Lakes-St Lawrence colony of f Canada, I will use 'Canada' in this paper in referring to the region. 2 For an excellent overview of early modern zoological works up to the end of the seventeenth century, see Pinon 1995. 3 I^escarbot is described in this fashion in Carile 1988, 85. See also Champiain's predicted incomes from Canadian resources in Champlain [1604] 1993, 2368 and his 'Utilitez du Pays de la Nouvelle-France,' his most focused reference to nature in his journals of exploration (Champlain 1922-36, 6: 366-74). 4 Dominique Deslandres argues that the Ursulines were seldom completely successful in their attempts to 'civilize' their Native students (Deslandres 1987, 100). Marie continued, for example, to use her Native name after her marriage to Boucher (Charbonneau and Legare 1980, 4: 127-8). 5 See Van Kirk 1980, 53-73 for more on the essential contributions of Native women to European husbands. As for Marie's kinship, there is some uncertainty whether she was a Huron or of Algonquian background (Suite 1882, 3: 101; Mitchell 1967, 64). Her first marriage is also a mystery. She was widow when she married Boucher, probably having been in a Native relationship, which the church did not recognize (Charbonneau and Legare 1980, 4: 127-8). 6 Boucher's preference for wild haws contrasts with Marie de 1'Incarnation's suffering in making do with indigenous fruits after a hard frost killed French fruit trees planted in the convent, garden (Guyart [1626-72] 1971, 364).

A Seventeenth-Century View of the Environment 235 7 In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, 'Canadian' or 'Canadois' referred to the Aboriginal residents of the St Lawrence region. In the second half of the seventeenth century, it came to designate the French established in the Laurentian region of New France, distinguishing them from the French soldiers and administrators who were temporarily stationed there.

The Beginning of French Exploration out of the St Lawrence Valley: Motives, Methods, and Changing Attitudes towards Native People Conrad E. Heidenreich


The successful exploration of the Canadian interior by Frenchmen beginning in the early seventeenth century is sometimes explained in terms of three factors: first, the presence of magnificent river routes from the St Lawrence valley to the Great Lakes and beyond; second, the early and rapid dependence of the French on the fur trade economy, which, it is said, drew them westward in search of furs and customers; and third, Native populations who saw themselves benefiting from this trade and therefore welcomed, or at least acquiesced to, an increasing French presence among them. J.B. Brebner, comparing the colonies of the Atlantic coast with those of New France, noted that 'none of the coastal colonies gave birth to a Champlain, to a missionary effort like the Jesuits' or to a combination of practical ability and geographical imagination like Radisson's.' But he continued, 'The reasons for this difference are, of course, not to be sought in any theories of relative national skills and adaptabilities. If there was any one controlling influence, it was topography' (Brebner [1933] 1966, 217; and see 114-50, 216-18). D.B. Quinn observes, 'The concentration on the fur trade and the subordination of all oilier economic effort to this proved successful. This limitation of ends and consequent economy in means was basic to the success of the venture ... This might not have been possible without the exceptional qualities of leadership and organization which Champlain brought to his task ... but beyond this ... had it not appeared to the Indians that their interests would be served by its continuance, the French post at Quebec could not have survived' (Quinn 1977, 488-9). Attractive as these explanation maybe, especially in terms of develop-

French Exploration out of the St Lawrence Valley2237

merits during the second half of the seventeenth century, they are inadequate as an explanation for the beginnings of interior exploration out of the St Lawrence valley, in which the human factor, credited above but then dismissed, proves to be of signal importance. This paper presents a brief examination of the first thirty-five years of the seventeenth century in Canada, the motives from which the French acted, and the procedures developed by them that would eventually lead to the exploration of the Great Lakes and the system of rivers to Hudson Bay and the Gulf of Mexico before any Dutch or Englishman had even seen Lake Ontario. These French successes were the result of a total rethinking of how exploration should be carried out, by a group of men - among them notably Champlain - who were far more flexible in their attitudes and thinking than Carticr and Roberval, who preceded them. The Sixteenth Century: Jacques Cartier and Others

Although exploration begins with motives, these are not enough to set the actual process in motion. Means have to be devised to overcome the physical and in some cases cultural obstacles that stand in the way. The expeditions of Jacques Cartier are good examples of situations where powerful motives were present and great efforts were made to push westward, yet all came to naught because neither the physical nor cultural obstacles to exploration could be overcome. Cartier's motive on his first (1534) and second (1535-6) expeditions was to find a route through the Canadian landmass (M. Trudel 1973, 12, 19-20). What he discovered was that the St Lawrence valley was a cul-de-sac. All the entrances to the interior were blocked by mighty waterfalls (Cartier 1993, 65, 103-4). On his third expedition (1541—2), shared with Roberval (1542—3), a motive was added that originated in stories told to Cartier by the St Lawrence Iroquoians on his second voyage. This was the possibility of exploring and conquering the mythical Kingdom of Saguenay, with its supposed riches of gold and precious stones. After these stories were repeated at the French court by kidnapped Stadaconans, the French began to envision themselves in a situation analogous to that of the Spaniards in Central and South America. Like their contemporaries - De Soto with six hundred men (1539-42), and Coronado with three hundred (1540-1) Cartier and Roberval, with their combined force of at least five hundred men, were supposed to mix exploration with conquest (Cartier 1993, 97, 135-8, 144-51). And like the Spanish expeditions into the southern reaches of North America, the Cartier-Roberval adventure also ended in

238 Conrad E. Heidenreich

abject failure: failure to develop the technologies to overcome the physical obstacles that led out of the St Lawrence valley, failure to adapt to Canadian winters, and, above all, failure to develop a positive attitude towards a potentially helpful indigenous population. The consequence of this ill-conceived adventure was bitter conflict with the St Lawrence Iroquoians, and, subsequently, the closure of the St Lawrence valley to further European exploration and potential trade until the early 15805 (Heidenreich 1990, 478-81). The intent to conquer, to settle, and to exploit, driven by a simplistic vision of fabulous wealth, came to a shattering end on the margins of the Canadian Shield. Clearly, technologies had to be developed to overcome physical obstacles, but what was even more important was that deep-seated cultural attitudes had to change, allowing positive Native relations to emerge as the key to successful exploration. Europeans had to learn that physical barriers could only be overcome through the removal of cultural barriers - their own and those with whom they came in contact. The Seventeenth Century: Samuel de Champlain and Others By the beginning of the seventeenth century, the French had refamiliarized themselves with the St Lawrence valley and had established trading relations with the Montagnais atTadoussac. On 27 May 1603, these relationships were taken a step further when two Montagnais, who had just returned from an audience with Henri iv, reported to their chief Anadabijou and their people that the French wanted to settle among them and help them against their enemies the Iroquois, either by making peace or by vanquishing them (Champlain 1922-36, i: 98-101). Their communication was greeted with enthusiasm by the assembly. Champlain, who had witnessed this meeting, had been charged with determining if European setdement in Canada was possible and what the chances were of finding a route west, past the Lachine Rapids (3: 3137). Between 24 May, when he arrived atTadoussac, and 11 July, when he returned there following a reconnaissance of the St Lawrence valley, he solved two of the technical aspects of the exploratory process that eventually enabled the French to explore inland. Champlain's first important innovation was that he systematically gathered Native geographical information, a practice followed later by ever)' French explorer of the century, none of whom, it is probable, ever undertook a journey of exploration inland without knowing beforehand to some extent where he was going and what he could expect to find. In

French Exploration out of the St Lawrence Valley 239

the short summer of 1603, Champlain learned more about the river systems that flowed into the St Lawrence valley than all the explorers before him (Heidenreich 1976, 1-4). On 11 June, the Montagnais described a route forty to fifty days long from Tadoussac to a northern salt sea (Hudson Bay), which Champlain reasoned was a gulf of the Atlantic, 'which overflows in the north into the midst of the continent' (Champlain 1922-36, i: 121-4, 4: 42). On 26 June, he was told of a route up the St Maurice River to Lac St Jean (i: 136-7). Four days later, he learned of the way up the Richelieu River to the Atlantic coast, a route he partially explored in 1609 (i: 143-4). On 4, 10, and 11 July Champlain obtained from Algonquin informants three accounts with sketch maps of the upper St Lawrence through Lake Ontario to Lake Erie (i: 1 53-65)- The sketch map from the second of these accounts was used by Champlain on his large Carte Geographique of 1612. (For Champlain's explorations out of the St Lawrence valley 1603-15, see figure 5.) The second important innovation by Champlain was that he recognized the potential importance of the birch-bark canoe in exploration. He first described the canoe in some detail on May 28 (i: 104-5). On 30 June, as he failed to get across the first set of rapids on the Richelieu River in his ship as well as his rowboat, he became more aware of the manoeuvrability and portability of the canoe (i: 141-3). The next day, he was given his first ride in a canoe across the St Lawrence River (i: 144-5). On 3 July, when a shallow draft boat specifically developed to navigate across the Lachine Rapids failed to achieve its goal Champlain concluded that it would be a matter of great toil and labour to be able to see and do by boat what a man might propose, except at great cost and expense, besides the risk of labouring in vain. But with the canoes of the savages one may travel freely and quickly throughout the country, as well up the little rivers as up the large ones. So that by directing one's course with the help of the savages and their canoes, a man may see all that is to be seen.' (l: 147-52)

Extraordinary as it may seem, this is the first printed recognition by a European of the potential importance of the canoe and the admission that Native help would be necessary to undertake exploration. Coincidentally, also in the summer of 1603, the Englishman Martin Fringe described birch-bark canoes on the Atlantic coast and even brought a seventeen-footer back to Bristol. However, neither Fringe nor any other Englishman drew the kinds of conclusions Champlain did (Quinn and

24-O Conrad E. Heidenreich

5 Ghamplain's explorations, 1603-15,

French Exploration out of the St Lawrence Valley 241

Quinn: 1983, 222-3) • ^n about two months, Champlain had solved two technical aspects of exploration: the use of Native verbal and cartographical information, and the potential use of the canoe as a mode of transportation. Even more importantly, he began to recognize the need for Native help to achieve his ends. When Champlain returned to the St Lawrence in 1608, after four years on the Atlantic coast, he had become proficient at gathering and interpreting Native geographical information (Heidenreich 1976, 4-11). On at least one occasion he had tested Native descriptions of a part of the New England coast and found them to be totally reliable (Champlain 1922-36, i: 335-40). He had also gained more experience in dealing with Native people and more knowledge of their customs. Champlain's new tasks were to establish a base of operations at Quebec and to continue exploration past the Lachine Rapids and towards the northern salt sea (2: 3-5, 16-19; 4: 31-43). Immediately he set his sights on the Saguenay route because he had heard that the English were trying to find a northwestern passage to China and he was certain that the salt sea the Montagnais had told him about was part of that passage (2: 19). When the Montagnais, who by now had been trading partners of the French for at least twenty years, refused to take him or any other Frenchmen along on a northern journey, Champlain became convinced that somehow he had to build a greater bridge of trust between them. In September 1608, therefore, he promised the Montagnais and their allies the Iroquet Algonquins (who were named Iroquet after their chief) the one thing they wanted from him - the fulfilment of Henri iv's promise that the French would help them in their wars (2: 69-70). As a result of these promises, a combined force of two hundred to three hundred Montagnais, Iroquet, and Huron - the latter a group the French had never seen before - met in June 1609 near the mouth of the Batiscan River to 'make an alliance' and to conduct a raid on the Iroquois up the Richelieu River (2: 64-71). Champlain saw this as an opportunity not only to further his standing in the eyes of his new allies, but also to engage in the exploration of an important waterway (2: 80-1). Although the final war party consisted of only sixty Natives as well as Champlain and two French volunteers, it was considered a success by the Native allies. At the conclusion of the raid, further expressions of friendship were exchanged between the allies, and promises were made to take Champlain exploring to the west and north if he continued to 'aid them, continually like a brother' (2: 104-5, no). This he promised to do. As a result of the 'alliance' and raid of 1609, Champlain received two

242 Conrad E. Heidenreich offers for 1610: the Montagnais promised to take him up the St Maurice River to the northern salt sea and return via the Saguenay, while the Huron would take him west to the 'mer douce' Carder had been told about in 1535, and show him some copper deposits (2: 118-19). Neither trip took place. Instead, he got involved in another fight with the Iroquois, this time at the mouth of the Richelieu River. He did, however, manage to place a French youth (probably Etienne Brule) with Iroquet's people and the Huron. Because the Algonquin were apprehensive about taking Brule with them lest an accident befall him for which they might be blamed, Champlain had to agree to take along a Huron lad, Savignon (2: 138-42). With these two young men, Champlain and Iroquet began to develop the important role of the French-Native interpreter and trader's agent. Brule and Savignon were to learn the language of their hosts and report back to their respective people on what they had seen. Increasingly frustrated by the reluctance of the Native people to take him exploring, Champlain tried in 1611 to persuade the Montagnais to take just one of his men with them up the St Maurice (2: !73-4)- When they declined, he tried to purchase a canoe to undertake exploration without them, but was unsuccessful in getting one. By now it became apparent that these refusals were prompted by Native fears that if anything happened to the French while in their care, they might be blamed and their relationship could be in danger (2: 139; 3: 91). Youngsters were one thing; important men like Champlain were quite another. However, the success of the Brule-Savignon exchange was extended to other youths (2: 186-206). In spite of his disappointment, Champlain reiterated his promise to support his Native allies and requested again that they take him exploring. This time he assured the Huron that he would ask the king for forty to fifty armed men to accompany him on an expedition against their enemies. He further promised that if he found their country fertile he would establish several settlements there 'whereby we should have communication with one another, and live happily in the future in the fear of God, whom we should make known to them' (2: 195-6). Apparently Champlain's suggestions for what could be interpreted as future Huron assimilation to French values received a favourable response from the assembled Natives. It is certain that at this point Champlain's thoughts on this subject were only at a very preliminary stage. It is therefore equally certain that the Huron did not understand the full meaning of what was being suggested to them. From their reaction, it is probable that they saw Champlain's suggestions as a friendly gesture designed to further closer relations.

French Exploration out of the St Lawrence Valley 243

An accident prevented Champlain from coming to Canada in 1612. Late in the year he learned the disheartening news that the English under Hudson had wintered at the northern salt sea he had been trying to reach since 1603 (2: 239-40, 255-7). Shortly after that, he met his Algonquin interpreter Nicholas de Vignau, who claimed to have been to the northern sea and could guide Champlain there. Full of hope, Champlain arrived at the Lachine Rapids in May 1613, with sixteen men ready to explore and to aid his allies in war, only to find out from the few Algonquins who had bothered to show up that they had been mistreated by traders the previous year and had been told that he was not returning (2: 254). Certain that the friendship and trust he had been trying to build was in danger, Champlain decided to explore northward, up the Ottawa River, with his French companions but without the Native help that had been promised for many years. Along the way he hoped to renew his contacts. On 27 May, after acquiring with some difficulty only two canoes and one Algonquin guide, the first European exploring party lurched into the Canadian interior. Lack of more canoes forced Champlain to leave twelve men behind. Five days later, unable to learn how to stern a canoe,1 the party acquired another Algonquin paddler and sent one of their men back to the Lachine Rapids (2: 265). The party got as far as Morrison Island, home of Champlain's old acquaintance Tessouat, headman of the Kichesipirini Algonquins. It was the first time any group of Europeans had penetrated any distance inland. The Algonquins were astonished at this accomplishment, but, after discrediting de Vignau's reports, discouraged the French from proceeding any further. All Champlain could do was to reiterate his promise to help them in their wars, ask them to come and trade again, and request their help in exploration (2: 296—8). The disappointments of 1613, as well as those of earlier years, further convinced Champlain and his superiors that exploration could be carried out only with Native help. In order to get that help, Champlain had to develop even closer relations with Native leaders, which meant, at least initially, acceding to their request for further French participation in their wars (3: 31-2). But how could these relations be strengthened so as to become a permanent bond? Over the years, Champlain had become increasingly convinced that it was his duty as a Catholic to introduce Christianity to the Native peoples. He also thought that it would be beneficial for both groups if the Native people learned French and adopted aspects of French culture. Through these strategies, he hoped to create a permanent bond between them. The plan to bring the Natives 'to the

244 Conrad E. Heidenreich

knowledge of God' was also a clause in the commissions received by de Monts, Champlain's superior (2: 5-8; 3: 3-7, 13-16, 227). In 1614, therefore, Champlain made arrangements for missionaries to be sent to Canada. The order suggested to him was the Recollets (Friars Minor), a reformed branch of the Franciscans, four of whom accompanied him to the St Lawrence colony in 1615. When Champlain arrived at the Lachine Rapids that year, he was asked by the Huron for help on yet another campaign against the Iroquois, this time from the Huron country. Champlain discussed the matter with the experienced trader Grave Du Pont and the two decided that in order to strengthen their ties with their new allies, further their plans for exploring westward, and plant the Recollets among the Huron, Champlain should 'help them in their wars' (3: 31-2). Accordingly, Champlain was taken westward to the 'mer douce,' through the Huron country, and then through south-central Ontario to the Iroquois southeast of Lake Ontario. After the raid, Champlain and Father Le Caron spent the winter of 1615-16 with fifteen Frenchmen in Huron country. Champlain visited Huron villages and neighbouring Native groups to promote French trade and good will, while Father Le Caron began his mission and set himself the task of learning Huron. Both men tried to grapple with the intricacies of Huron culture, but neither succeeded very well. When they returned to Quebec, the Recollets announced that it was impossible to convert Natives to Christianity without first 'civilizing' them (Le Clercq [1691] 1881, i: 109-12). They suggested that this could best be done by persuading those who were migratory to become settled agriculturalists and to place among all the groups French settlers from whom they could learn French ways (Le Clercq [1691] 1881, i: 214-23; Sagard 1636, 2: 169-71). The Huron, not really knowing what was being planned for them, accepted their new military and trading allies and from 1616 on the French had fewer problems travelling with their Native escorts out of the St Lawrence valley. The interior had finally been penetrated to the 'mer douce,' and the foundations had been laid for future exploration and trade through the establishment of personal relations, more formal alliances, a limited exchange of people, and mutual trust shown in battle. The adoption of Christianity and some degree of assimilation to French values was seen by Champlain and the Recollets as the glue that would eventually bind Natives and French even closer together. Over succeeding years, Champlain laid elaborate plans for further exploration westward from the Huron country to China ('six month's journey'), as well as the routes to the 'mer glacialle' and the 'mer du sud' (Champlain 1923-36, 2: 326-30,

French Exploration out of the St Lawrence Valley 245

345). Time and again he reiterated that all French plans - exploration, trade, defence of the colony, settlements, and missionizing - hinged on good Native relations. The continuing problem was how to enact the intentions formulated by him and the Recollets. By the mid-16205, it had become evident that the plans to Christianize and 'civilize' the Native people were not being realized. Native cultures were resistant to the kinds of changes demanded of them, and there were far too few French colonists to act as role models. In 1632 Cardinal Richelieu decided to replace the Recollets, a mendicant order that could not pay its way in a colony that was itself in need of money, with the Capuchins. When the latter could not undertake the St Lawrence mission because they had just been given a special apostolate to England, he sent the self-funded Jesuits instead (Grant 1984, 26). Although they later changed their policies drastically, initially the Jesuits continued those established by their predecessors. However, in order to speed up the process of conversion and acculturation, they were willing to take a step the Recollets had not suggested. On 22 July 1635, five months before Champlain died, he and Father Paul Le Jeune, superior of the Jesuit mission to Canada, met with seven hundred Huron in a council at Quebec to discuss with them a proposal they had formulated for more binding ties between the two groups. The proposal was for French men to settle in the Huron country, where they would marry Huron women after these had adopted Christianity. Champlain promised that this would strengthen Huron-French ties. Moreover, he said, Christianity would make them triumph over their enemies, and the French could teach them to make all the things they now purchased (Jesuit Relations [1610-1791] 1896-1901 [hereafter//?] 8:47-51, 12: 1257). a Although the purpose of this proposal was mainly to spread Christianity and French values, Champlain also hoped for strong socio-political ties with the Huron and the development of a group of people who would take 'exploration to the extremity of North America' (Charlevoix i?44> 1: 282, 288-9; my translation). It took the Huron two years to respond to this proposal, finally deciding that marriage was not a matter of national policy, but up to individuals and their families. Among other things, they were concerned about dowries, the fate of the women in cases of separation, and the disposition of property in such cases. In other words, the Huron balked at some of the French values attached to marriage, particularly the indissolubility of Christian unions, but had otherwise no qualms about French men marrying Huron women. This was, of course, not what the priests wanted to hear, because their main

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concern had been to use marriage as a vehicle for conversion and acculturation. By placing marriage into the hands of couples and their Huron families, the Jesuits would lose control of the acculturation process. The conclusion they reached was that the whole matter deserved more thought before any further steps were taken (JR 14: 15-21). Over succeeding years, the Jesuits retreated further from the plans of Champlain and the Recollets, gradually coming to the conclusion by the 16405 that in order to Christianize the Native people, it would be best to segregate them from excessive French influence arid avoid trying to 'Frenchify' them (Axtell 1985, 43-70) .3 Discussion It is difficult to know how much Champlain and his contemporaries learned from the Cartier-Roberval fiasco. Even if there had been a 'Kingdom of the Saguenay,' the attempt to transfer to the northern Canadian wilderness the approach used by the conquistadores was illconceived at best. The Native groups and physiographic conditions faced by the French were in no way comparable to anything faced by the Spaniards. That Carder and his contemporaries could not discern these differences accounts for their failure. Champlain was aware of Carder's writings and suggested that Carder failed because 'he was unwilling to run risks or to leave his pinnaces and adventure himself (Champlain 1922-36, 2: 221). Champlain may not have known diat underlying that failure were also poor Native relations (6: 192-3).* Whether or not Champlain understood the causes for Carder's failure, he did develop a successful approach to exploration, one that was the opposite of that of his predecessor. Like Carder, but with far fewer resources, Champlain had the task of exploring routes leading westward. Conditioned by at least twenty years of trading, Champlain's contemporaries had developed attitudes to the Native people quite different from those of their earlier countrymen. Enough prejudices had been removed between Native and Frenchman to permit Champlain to recognize the former as a reliable geographical informant and to reject European technology in favour of Native technology, and their expertise in travel and living off the land. He was the first European to clearly see and recommend that, in order to explore and live in Canada, certain adaptations had to take place to the Native presence and the physical environment. The way to overcome the physical obstacles to exploration was to become accepted by the Native people and learn to proceed with their help.

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At this point, the prime object of exploration was to find a route west to China, a route Champlain was convinced existed. At no point does he or any contemporary writer suggest that exploration was conducted in order to expand the fur trade. The fur trade to the St Lawrence was in Native hands, and it was assumed, correctly, that it would expand as a consequence of exploration, as more Native groups were contacted by explorers, missionaries, and traders' agents. Exploration did not follow automatically from trading relations. Quite the contrary. Native traders and their fellow countrymen refused to take Frenchmen with them for fear that these valued but inexperienced men might die in their company or on their lands, thus rupturing existing friendly relations. Champlain learned that in order to be accepted and taken on exploring trips, close personal relations and trust had to be built with Native leaders. He did this by acting on their insistence that, as befitted allies, they be helped in their wars, and through a 'cultural exchange program' involving young men. It took seven years (1608-15) of negotiation, tokens of friendship, alliances, and aid in war before he finally saw the 'mer douce.' Once friendly relations had been established that led Native people to allow Frenchmen to accompany them on their travels, Champlain set himself the task of trying to create permanent bonds between the French and their Native allies, especially the settled and agricultural Huron. To Champlain, a devout Catholic living in the climate of the CounterReformation and cognizant of the clauses in de Monts's commissions regarding Native conversions, the answer was Christianization through a strong missionary effort. A common religion and - he hoped - acceptance of French values would create the bonds he sought. Although at first he found little support among the traders, he found enough support in France for the sponsorship of four Recollets to begin the task of trying to assimilating the Native people into a Catholic community. In 1635 the Jesuits elaborated on these plans to include intermarriage between French men and Native women. This suggestion was not simply a way of providing women for a gender-imbalanced French colonial population, but a serious attempt to spread Christianity and promote assimilation (Axtell 1985, 278; Jaenen 1976, 161-5; Dickason 1992, 167-9). Through the i66os the directives of the French minister in charge of colonial affairs, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, urged his intendant, Jean Talon, to encourage assimilation through mingling French and Native so that they would become 'one people and one race' (O'Callaghan and Fernow 1853-87,9: 59). By this time, the Jesuits had long abandoned this plan because it did not lead to Christianization (Charlevoix 1744, 2: 164).

248 Conrad E. Heidenreich Whatever one may think today of Champlain's intentions and those of his contemporaries, their actions opened the Canadian interior to peaceful exploration, the fur trade, and missionary activity. From the French point of view, the problem with Native people was that they were pagan, but, as Father Brebeuf put it, 'You must have sincere affection for the Savages, - looking upon them as ransomed by the blood of the son of God, and as our brethren, with whom we are to pass the rest of out lives' (JR 12: 117, see also 10: 87). Even the Recollets, who insisted that the Natives be 'made into men [civilized] so that they become Christian,' saw them as 'sharing your [European] human nature' (Sagard 1636, 6-7; my translation). In other words, Native people were regarded as human and were, in Christian terms, 'perfectible' through conversion. Both the Recollets and Jesuits agreed, as did the higher French civil authorities, that it was a duty placed on them by the Christian Scriptures to effect conversions. In order to proselytize, the missionaries, just like the explorers and traders' agents, had to leave the St Lawrence colony for the Canadian interior and come to grips with alien languages and cultures. In this endeavour, the Jesuits learned from Recollet failures. In order to be accepted and thereby gain an audience for their main message, they reversed their stand on assimilation. Some priests even approached a stance of cultural relativism in many matters that is astonishing for the period (Axtell 1985, ch. 5). Exploration westward from Dutch and English occupied areas did not take place until the i68os, in spite of the fact that a good water route was present in the Hudson-Mohawk River system. Even on Hudson Bay, where the English operated a fur trade economy after 1668, exploration was not a factor until the middle of the eighteenth century. The motive to explore was simply absent in both areas. Nor was missionizing a major motive. The Dutch Reformed Church did not have the manpower in New Netherlands to undertake missionary work, and its first minister, Jonas Michaelius, was doubtful if such an enterprise was worthwhile (Trelease 1960, 38-40; Jameson 1909, 126-9). Among the New England Puritans, Native missionizing was initially considered to be a worthwhile effort, but once real difficulties were encountered their ardour waned and rapidly slid into indifference and hostility (Jennings 1976, 53-7; and see Axtell 1985, 131-78). Both the Dutch and the Puritans would have been horrified at the idea of institutionalized intermarriage with the local Native population (Axtell 1985, 302-4; Axtell 1981, 155-7, 279-80). Although the French had strong reservations about aspects of Native culture, among the Dutch and especially the English such reservations

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were reinforced by racial prejudice (Axtell 1981, 80-1, 102-5, 270). The powerful ideologies present in the Dutch and English colonies made accommodation to Native culture difficult if not impossible. Without such accommodation, westward exploration could not take place. Conclusions The interior exploration of Canada out of the St Lawrence valley did not take place simply because water routes were present and the French hoped to expand their infant fur trade. The earliest and most consistent motive from Carder to Champlain was to explore routes across the continent to China. By the late sixteenth century, the Native-French animosities that had closed the St Lawrence after Cartier had been overcome, and by the early seventeenth century, the French were in the position to rethink the problem of exploration. Champlain could rely on the bridges late-sixteenth-century traders had built between themselves and the Native peoples of the lower St Lawrence and the gulf. Champlain realized very quickly that exploration could be carried out only with Native help. In fact all major French undertakings in Canada settlement, commerce, and exploration - depended on the friendly cooperation of the local Native groups. Natives were needed to trap and transport furs, their good will was necessary to establish and maintain settlements, and their help and technical expertise were necessary to travel into the interior. To Champlain, his superiors, and those traders who could see beyond a year's trading, the main task was to become firmly accepted by the Native people. The fur trade had created good commercial relations, but these were apparently not enough for the kind of trust necessary to create permanent bonds. As the person charged with exploration and settlement, Champlain had the task of establishing the kind of trust that would permit French motives to be fulfilled in safety. Trade was a mutually beneficial undertaking between Native and French, but how could settlement and exploration become mutually beneficial? Gradually a solution was worked out between the Native leaders and the French. The first step was for both sides to become better acquainted through an exchange of people. The next and crucial step was for the two groups to enter into alliances and for the French to cement those alliances by helping their new allies in war. Some historians have pilloried Champlain for this action, yet it is evident that, after a great deal of thought and consultation, the French felt they had no choice in the matter. In

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order to achieve their aims, Native help was necessary, and the one thing they all wanted from the French was that support be given them in their wars. As Champlain put it in June 1615: 'Thereupon the said Sieur du Pont and I came to the conclusion that it was very necessaiy to assist them [in war], both to engage them the more to love us, and also to provide the means of furthering my enterprises and explorations which apparently could only be carried out with their help' (Champlain 192236, 3: 31-2). Once a strong bond had been created, Champlain hoped that the various Native groups would accept missionaries. This was the second powerful motive that made French travel into the interior a necessity. With the Recollets, Champlain planned the transfer of Catholicism into the interior Native communities; with the Jesuits he proposed an intermarried French-Native-Catholic population that would secure French objectives in North America. From the point of view of the Native people, the establishment of commercial relations, an exchange of people, mutual aid in war, and marriage into an allied group were necessary steps in forging binding ties. The two cultures had found ways of bridging the gap between them. What helped the French to bridge this gap? Unlike the English and Dutch, the French wanted to explore and missionize. With their minute population and lack of expertise in travelling in the New World, they needed Native cooperation. The English and Dutch colonies were essentially agricultural settlements for which they needed Native land, not aid. Secondly, although all the European groups had strong cultural biases, the French were relatively free of the feelings of racial superiority that were present in the Dutch and English colonies. Finally, by and large, the French regarded Native people as humans who could become equals through conversion to Christianity. To the south, Native humanity as well as their ability to become Christians was a matter of some dispute. Comparatively speaking, the French had a positive attitude towards Natives, born to some extent out of necessity, but to a much greater degree out of their willingness to try to understand the foreign cultures they were meeting, as well as the demands of the Catholic Church, which insisted on the conversion of the Natives, whom they regarded as humans worthy of such an effort. Attitudes and flexibility, more than physiography and the ramifications of the fur trade, account for the early and sustained success of French exploration. Champlain and others like him, working with Native leaders and their people, were able to set aside a significant array of prejudices in order to create bridges between their cultures. What we see in the actions

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of these men is the application of new attitudes towards life in the New World. For the first time, the Native population was treated with some respect and was deemed to be worthy of understanding. There was a genuine rethinking of how to deal with human and physical problems, based not on dogma or experiences elsewhere, but on direct observations of local situations. These early-seventeenth-century Frenchmen developed a pragmatic flexibility that permitted a relatively peaceful beginning of French activities in Canada. Because adaptation had to be to Canadian conditions, what developed here was not merely the transfer of French culture to a new land, but the development of a Canadian culture. NOTES 1 To 'stern' is to steer from the rear of the canoe while providing power at the same time. 2 Champlain first mentioned a plan for interior settlements in 1611 (Champlain 1922-36, 2: 195-6); it was Father Le Jeune who added the suggestion that the French intermarry with the Huron. For an elaboration of the Jesuit scheme for French-Native intermarriage, see Campeau 1967-94, 3: 36-9. 3 The term 'Frenchify' was used by Charlevoix, 1744, 3: 144: 'Enfin on ne pouvoit plus douter que le meilleur moyen de les christianiserne fut de se bien donner de garde de les franciser.' 4 In the 1632 edition of Les Voyages, Champlain mentioned the CartierRoberval voyage briefly for the first time, concluding that they were 'not able to live there with the savages who were unbearable,' Champlain 1922-36, 6:193. There is no reason to believe that Champlain knew anything about this voyage when he first came to Canada.

The Earliest European Encounters with Iroquoian Languages Wallace Chafe

The earliest significant record we have of a Native Canadian language comes from the first and second voyages of Jacques Carder in 1534 and 1535-6, respectively (Carder 1924). The narratives of these voyages have a complicated history (Hoffman 1961, 112-62, 213-15), but their significance here is the fact that they were accompanied by lists of words said to represent 'the language of the recently discovered land called New France' (the first voyage), or 'the language of the countries and kingdoms of Hochelaga and Canada, otherwise called New France' (the second voyage). The circumstances of the first voyage suggest that the first of these two 'Carder vocabularies,' as they have come to be called, represents the language spoken in a place whose name was spelled by the French 'Stadacona'; hence I will refer to the language as 'Stadaconan.' It clearly belonged to the group of languages now classified as constituting the Northern Iroquoian branch of the Iroquoian language family. The second vocabulary probably consists largely of Stadaconan words too, although it seems to contain some words from other places. Linguists often refer to the language or languages of these two vocabularies collectively as 'Laurentian' (e.g., Lounsbury 1961; Mithun 1982). During the sixty years that followed the Carder expeditions, although the area remained temporarily free of other French incursions, the speakers of Stadaconan had disappeared.1 When the French returned to the same area at the beginning of the seventeenth century, their attention shifted to the related Huron language, which survived much longer than Stadaconan, although it too is no longer spoken (Barbeau 1949)- From the early seventeenth century to the early twentieth, Huron, or something much like it, was studied in considerable depth by scholars with both religious and secular motivations.

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With the perspectives available today, it is intriguing to look back at these earliest encounters between the French and the speakers of Stadaconan and Huron, asking what insights were gained into these languages and the nature of language in general, noting also the interests and abilities of those who recorded them, the first North American linguists. I will limit the discussion here to encounters with Stadaconan, to the earliest encounters with Huron that were documented chiefly in the writings of Gabriel Sagard, and to the immediately following work of Jean de Brebeuf, the first productive linguist in the long tradition of Huron studies that continued among the Jesuits. The Cartier Vocabularies

The vocabularies attached to the accounts of Carder's first and second voyages provide us with a glimpse, however limited, into the minds of the ill-fated people whose words were recorded, but they are at the same time a source of considerable frustration for a variety of reasons. First, we are in the dark concerning the person or persons who elicited these words, from whom they were elicited, and when and where the elicitation took place. The events reported in the account of the first voyage suggest that the first list could have come only from either or both of two young men, identified as Taignoagny and Domagaya, who were residents of Stadacona but were kidnapped and taken to France. The second vocabulary is more frustrating in this respect, since its source could have been any or all of the ten captives taken to France after the second voyage. A possible hint lies in a statement from Father Andre Thevet, the sixteenth-century author of several works on eastern Canada. The Natives of Canada, Thevet said, 'believe that the soul is immortal, and if a man turns out badly, after his death a great bird takes his soul and carries it away; otherwise the soul goes into a place adorned with many beautiful trees, and birds singing melodiously. This is what the Seigneur of the Country of Canada, called Donacona Aguanna, told us. This man died in France as a good Christian, speaking French, for he had lived there four years' (Thevet [1558] 1878, 407; editors' translation). Donnacona was the father of Taignoagny and Domagaya. If he were the one who gave Thevet and others this information on Stadaconan beliefs, perhaps he was also the one who provided the Stadaconan words in the second vocabulary, but we may never know this for sure. A second source of frustration is the tangled history of the documents themselves. We may have access to the earliest version of the second

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vocabulary, but for the first we have only copies and translations (Hoffman 1961, 156-60). Third, numerous mistakes in copying left a variety of different spellings of the same word in different manuscripts. For example, the first vocabulary gives the word for 'bread' (pain) as cacacomy, whereas the second vocabulary gives it as carraconny. In this case, it is easy to see what happened. From what we now know of the history of the Iroquoian language family, we can reconstruct this word as having sounded something like kahrahkg-ni-, which is more closely approximated by the spelling in the second vocabulary.12 Whoever copied this word in the first vocabulary must have mistaken an r (or double r) for a c and a double n for an m. Such errors abound. Fourth, the Stadaconan sounds were filtered through the phonetic expectations of a speaker of French, a fact that led to many inevitable distortions of what was actually heard. Fifth, various changes in pronunciation were taking place in the French language at the time, and French orthography had not become stabilized. For example, for at least some French speakers the sound represented earlier by the letter s after a vowel had been replaced by a lengthening of the vowel, but the s was still being used as an indication of the lengthening, as in teste. Later the s was replaced by a circumflex accent over the lengthened vowel, as in tete. This orthographic situation may help to explain spellings like anondasco for 'legs' in the first vocabulary, a spelling that makes sense only if the s marked a lengthening of the preceding a rather than an actual s sound. The word can be reconstructed as having sounded something like anQdd-kQ.. Sixth, there are various examples of miscommunication between the elicitor of the words and his source (Mithun 1982, 231-3). The elicitor asked for the word for 'salmon' but was given the word for 'pot,' presumably because he was pointing to a salmon in a pot. He asked for the word for 'bronze' but was given the word for 'ring,' presumably because he was pointing to a bronze ring. Finally, as mentioned above, it is possible that more than one language or dialect was included in the second vocabulary. Scholars have sometimes tried to equate the language of the Cartier vocabularies with one or another of the Iroquoian languages about which more is known - for example, with Huron (Robinson 1948; Barbeau 1961), Mohawk (Cuoq 1869), and even Tuscarora (Beaugrand-Champagne 1937, 99104, 108-14). The most plausible hypothesis is that the vocabularies represent for the most part the language of Stadacona, which was closely related to, but distinct from, other Iroquoian languages in the area. But

Early European Encounters with Iroquoian Languages 255 as the most recent study of this question concludes, the vocabularies 'do not represent a single, unified language, but, rather, contain several different Iroquoian languages or dialects' (Mithun 1982, 242). These admixtures may have included the dialects of the towns of Achelacy and Hochelaga further up the St Lawrence, and perhaps also a dialect of Huron. The compiler or compilers of these vocabularies provided short lists of words and a few phrases such as 'The smoke hurts my eyes' (Carder 1924, 245), 'Give me a drink,' 'Give me breakfast,' 'Give me supper,' and 'Let's go to bed' (243), which may suggest something about the circumstances in which these items were collected. Perhaps, too, they hint that some practical use of the language was foreseen. There was no discussion of either the sounds or the grammar of the language, which may have been viewed as one more example of the exotic traits of its users, supplementing other curiosities that were described in the accounts themselves. Gabriel Sagard and the Earliest Studies of Huron In 1615 Samuel de Champlain arranged for four members of a branch of the Franciscans known as Recollets to come to Quebec. Immediately on their arrival, one of them, Father Joseph Le Caron, set off for the Huron country. With the exception of the layman Etienne Brule, who had gone to live among the Hurons as early as 1610, Le Caron was probably the first Frenchman to visit the Huron in their own territory. Knowing the importance of language as a vehicle of conversion, he tried his best to record and describe the Huron language for the benefit of other members of his order. When he returned to Quebec in the spring of 1616, he brought with him the beginnings of a Huron dictionary, of which no record seems to have survived (Le Clercq [1691] 1881, i: 249). This dictionary must have been studied by the lay brother Gabriel Sagard, who in 1623 joined the effort to convert the Huron. He stayed among them for less than a year, but, like Champlain, he was a talented writer, and his subsequent book, Le grand voyage du pays des Hurons, situe en I'Amerique vers la mer douce, es derniers confins de la nouvelle France, was published in France in 1632. It attracted enough attention to justify a revised edition, with the new title Histoire du Canada, in 1636. Published as an appendix to the first edition was a dictionary of the Huron language (Sagard i632b). Sagard provided a revealing description of his fieldwork methodology:

256 Wallace Chafe After dinner I used to read some little book I had brought or else write. I carefully noted the words of the language I was learning and made lists of them which I used to study and repeat to my savages, who enjoyed it and helped me to perfect myself at it, using a very good method. They would often say to me, 'AuieV (instead of Gabriel which they could not pronounce because of the letter B which does not occur at all in their language, any more than the other labial letters), Assehoua, Agnonra, and Seatonqua, 'Gabriel, take your pen and write.' Then they would explain as best they could what I wanted to learn from them. And as sometimes they could not make me understand their conceptions they would explain them to me by figures, similitudes, and external demonstrations, sometimes in speech, and sometimes with a stick, tracing the object on the ground as best they could, or by a movement of the body. (Sagard [1632] 1939, 73) Included in this passage is a complete and apparently spontaneous Huron sentence: Auiel, Assehoua, Agnonra, Seatonqua, which Sagard translated 'Gabriel, take your pen and write.' He carefully separated the four words, beginning each with a capital letter and setting it off with a comma.3 The second of these words, probably pronounced ahsehwa'), meant 'you should pick it up,' and the fourth, probably sehyadghgwah, was an imperative meaning 'write with it!' It may seem curious that the Huron already had a way of saying 'write,' but in fact the other languages of the Northern Iroquoian family also have words related to this one in both form arid meaning, all based on a verb root reconslructible as *-hyatQ-. It would seem that all the northern Iroquoian peoples were already familiar with the idea of making visible marks that stood for something else, though not for the sounds of language, and it must have been easy and natural to extend this idea to the orthographic marks the French were making. We cannot be sure of the pronunciation of the third word in this sentence, but perhaps it was something like anyp'-ra?. It was translated 'pen' above, but in Sagard's dictionary he said it meant 'rackets.' Both the Huron and the French were doing their best to find ways of talking about unfamiliar objects. The Huron had not seen pens before they saw Le Caron's or Sagard's. The French had not seen snowshoes. We know from elsewhere in his book that Sagard associated snowshoes with tennis rackets, but just why the Huron associated Sagard's pen with a snowshoe is more open to speculation. Could its narrow shaft, widening to a plume at the top, have reminded the Hurons of a snowshoe shape? Or did both pens and snowshoes leave marks?

Early European Encounters with Iroquoian Languages 257

Sagard observed more than individual words and phrases, and was sensitive to differences in conversational style. 'They speak very composedly as though desirous of being fully understood,' he wrote, 'and pause of a sudden to reflect for a considerable space of time, then resume their speech. This restraint of theirs leads them to call Frenchmen women, because they are too hasty and excited in their movements and speak all together and interrupt one another' (Sagard [1632] 1939, 140). Sagard's dictionary is a fascinating record of the Huron language as it was spoken at the beginning of the seventeenth century. His purpose was stated clearly on the tide page: 'Dictionary of the Huron Language: necessary for those who have no knowledge of it, and need to deal with the savages of that country.' He opened the dictionary with an introduction in which he pointed out that each Native nation had its own way of speaking, a situation he blamed on the presumption of those who built the tower of Babel. There were even, he said, dialect differences among the Huron themselves. He was the first to point out that Iroquoian words often express complex thoughts that have to be translated with entire sentences in French (Sagard i632b, 3-7). Because Iroquoian verbs can contain a variety of different prefixes and a verb root can be inflected in hundreds of different ways, it is difficult even today to decide on the best format for a dictionary of any Iroquoian language. Sagard's practical solution was to provide, not an alphabetical list of words, but a collection of meaning categories with examples relevant to each category. Thus, under the heading 'go' (alter, partir) he included entries such as 'Where are you going?' 'Goodbye, I'm leaving,' 'I'm leaving tomorrow morning,' and 'Let's go together' (Sagard i632b, a vi'~ v ). The last category in the dictionary is Yoscaha, the name of the good twin in the Iroquois creation myth (Tooker [1964] 1991, 151). Sagard seems to have mixed Huron with Christian theology, equating the Huron creator Yoscaha with the Christian God, as the Huron's indirect descendants the Wyandots continued to do into the present century (Barbeau !9i5> 49. 5 1 )- Included in this section were sentences like 'The abode of Yoscaha is far from here,' as well as 'The abode of the Devil is under the earth.' Souls were said to 'dance with Ataensique,' the grandmother of Yoscaha (Sagard i632b, i viiir~v). The dictionary gives us numerous clues to specific changes that had taken place in the sounds of Huron. For example, the word for 'town' (ville) was given as andata (Sagard i632b, i vii'). At first glance this word may not look much like the Stadaconan word with the same meaning,

258 Wallace Chafe

written canada, but in fact there is a complete correspondence between the two. Comparing them, we see that the sound k (spelled cin canada), or its voiced equivalent g, had been dropped from the beginnings of Huron words, as in fact we saw earlier with the pronunciation of Gabriel as Auiel. We see, too, that in Huron an n had been replaced by an nd, and where the earlier Frenchman had written a Stadaconan d, Sagard wrote a Huron t. Sagard showed above all a healthy appreciation that language is something to be used, not just studied abstractly. He realized the importance of learning and using the Huron language if one was to influence people's minds, and of equating Christian beliefs with Huron beliefs where that was possible. He noticed the diversity of languages in eastern Canada as well as the diversity within Huron itself, and he realized that languages are constantly changing. In all these ways he showed a kind of linguistic sophistication that is absent from the Carder vocabularies. He did not, however, perform any systematic phonological or grammatical analyses. Jean de Brebeuf and the Beginnings of the Jesuit Tradition In 1625 the Recollets were joined by Jesuits, who shortly thereafter replaced them. One of the Jesuits was Jean de Brebeuf, whose Relation of 1636 had a number of things to say about the Huron language. The Jesuits were trained in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and were well prepared to be the linguists of their day (Hanzeli 1969, 32—44). One practice that Brebeuf and others followed was to present samples of connected speech in Huron with translations interspersed between the lines; the same practice is followed today. Regrettably, as it now seems, Brebeuf did not record the kinds of things the Hurons were saying to each other in their daily lives, as Sagard often did, but limited his Huron texts to translations of religious materials. However, the linguistic high point of Brebeuf s Relation is a charming essay on the nature of the Huron language. 'This is only to give some little foretaste of the language,' he wrote, 'and notice some of its peculiarities, in anticipation of a Grammar and a complete Dictionary' (Jesuit Relations [1610-1791] 1896-1901 [hereafter//?] 10: 116-17). Sadly he did not live to complete either the grammar or the dictionary, and only the little foretaste has survived. In several ways, Brebeuf foreshadowed the things linguists would say in the coming centuries when they wrote about these languages. As in

Early European Encounters with Iroquoian Languages 259 most linguistic descriptions today, he began with a discussion of sounds. It was natural at the time to equate the sounds of a language with the letters used to represent them (Hanzeli 1969, 38), and in this case to believe that the letters of the French alphabet provided a standard against which other languages could be compared. Thus, Brebeuf began by saying that the Hurons were not acquainted with the letters B, F, L, M, P, X, or Z. What he meant, of course, was that the French sounds written with those letters were not Huron sounds. Among the missing sounds, he went on to point out, confirming Sagard's observation, were the labial sounds written B, M, P, and F. 'This is probably the reason,' he speculated, 'why they all open their lips so awkwardly.' The translation here is misleading. What Brebeuf wrote was 'c'est volontiers la cause qu'ils ont tous les levres ouvertes de si mauvaise grace,' and he must have meant that they didn't dose their lips while they were talking, as is still the case with speakers of Iroquoian languages today (JR 10: 116—17). Brebeuf noticed, too, that the Hurons had one 'letter' that was absent from French. The missionaries had decided to write this sound with the Greek letter x, or khi. What was involved here was an aspirated k, which, although missing from French, the Jesuits were able to relate to their knowledge of ancient Greek. Later, they would realize that Huron possessed an aspirated t as well, which they wrote with the Greek letter 6, or theta. Turning from sounds to meanings, Brebeuf was seriously frustrated, as Sagard had been, by the absence of concepts he found basic to civilization and Christianity. 'As they have hardly any virtue or Religion, or any learning or government, they have consequently no simple words suitable to express what is connected with these. Hence it is that we are at a loss in explaining to them many important matters depending upon a knowledge of these things' (JR 10: 116-17). He noticed that when they talked about relatives they never said simply 'father' and the like, but always added prefixes to yield words that meant 'my father,' 'thy father,' 'his father,' and so on. He had to write home for advice: 'On this account, we find ourselves hindered from getting them to say properly in their Language, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost. Would you judge it fitting, while waiting a better expression, to substitute instead, In the name of our Father, and of his Son, and of their holy Ghost? ... Would we venture to employ it thus until the Huron language shall be enriched, or the mind of the Hurons opened to other languages? We will do nothing without advice' (JR 10: 116, 118-21).

260 Wallace Chafe There was still another problem here: 'Now in connection with this name Father I must not forget the difficulty there is in teaching to say Our Father who art in Heaven, to those who have none on earth; to speak to them of the dead whom they have loved, is to insult them. A woman, whose mother had died a short time before, almost lost her desire to be baptized because the command, Thou shalt honor thy Father and thy Mother, had been inadvertently quoted to her' (JR 10: 118, 121). Thus we know that the Huron possessed a taboo against uttering the name of a deceased relative. Like Sagard, Brebeuf recognized that the structure of Huron words was marvellously complex. He noticed 'that they vary their tenses in as many ways as did the Greeks; their numbers also, - besides that the first person, of both the dual number and the plural, is, moreover, double; thus to say 'we set out, thou and I,' we must say kiarascwa, and to say 'we set out, he and I,' aiarascwa. Likewise in the plural, 'we, several of us, set out,' awarascwa; 'we, together, set out,' cwarascwd (JR 10: 120-1). What Brebeuf had noticed was that the Huron did not distinguish just between singular and plural, but between singular, dual, and plural. Beyond that, however, they distinguished between so-called inclusive and exclusive first persons - that is, whether 'we' included or excluded the person spoken to - something even classical Greek did not do, Brebeuf, in short, was as interested as Sagard in the practical and social dimensions of the language, but perhaps because of his Jesuit training he explored the structure of Huron in ways that Sagard had not. The Huron who eventually settled at Lorette, years after the devastating Iroquois attacks, retained their language well into the nineteenth century. The Jesuit missionaries among them maintained their lively interest in the language, building through the years extensive dictionaries and grammars. These materials show an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the nature of the language, towards which Brebeuf had led the way. Perhaps, with what we may think now is our superior knowledge and experience, we in this century can take a more detached perspective on these earliest encounters, interpreting them as tentative steps in the direction of cross-cultural understanding. First came the Cartier voyagers, for whom it was only natural to view Native languages and all the other customs of its speakers as simply strange. When the compassionate and perceptive Sagard had been able to share his life with the Hurons for a while, he came to appreciate both their good and bad

Early European Encounters with Iroquoian Languages


qualities and could compare them and their language not at all unfavourably with the French. Brebeuf, living much longer among them and better trained as a linguist, understood in more specific detail the intricacies of both their language and their culture. In the centuries since then, other linguists have come to appreciate more and more of the richness of these and other Native languages, along with the cultures of which they are or were a part. It would be hard to deny, however, that even today we maintain our preconceptions of what other languages and cultures are or should be like, having replaced the religions of Sagard and Brebeuf with the theories of academia. NOTES 1 For a discussion of various explanations of their disappearance see Trigger [1976] 1987, 214-242 In the spellings of Iroquoian words used here, $ and Q are nasalized vowels, and a raised dot indicates lengthening of the preceding vowel. In English, h is pronounced only before a vowel, but in these languages it appears just as frequently after a vowel, as it does twice in this word. In later examples, o is the symbol for a glottal stop. 3 See, for example, Hanzeli's remark that 'the authors of [Jesuit] grammars seem to have been obsessed with words' (Hanzeli 1969, 43-4).

Decentring Icons of History: Exploring the Archaeology of the Frobisher Voyages and Early European-Inuit Contact Reginald Auger, William W. Fitzhugh, Lynda Gullason, Anne Henshaw, Donald Hogarth, Dosia Laeyendecker1

Among 'first contact' events in the Americas, the voyages of Martin Frobisher stand out as one of the most extensively documented of early exploration ventures. Few other voyages can claim so many narratives (Best, Ellis, Fenton, Hall, Settle, Lok, and others), and some (including Best's and Fenton's accounts), provide alternative perspectives on the same events. Few other exploration narratives deal with events in such a circumscribed geographic locus, the environs of outer Frobisher Bay. Forget for the moment that we did not know the exact location until nearly three hundred years after the fact, as Helen Wallis (1984) has pointed out. Frobisher historians have benefited from an unusual instance of historical preservation: the bankruptcy proceedings following die Cathay Company's economic failure, which produced the most detailed financial records of any early expedition (Shammas 1975; McDermott 1984). From this welter has emerged a remarkable record of England's first venture into the New World, and to a region - Frobisher Bay - that would not be revisited by Europeans on a sustained basis for nearly three hundred years (see Symons, 1999). In recent years, historians have become accustomed to utilizing new sources that greatly expand the 'voices' of historical evidence. Nevertheless, studies of early exploration of the New World remain constrained by the accounts of the principal European observers. WThile historians long ago uncovered the most important documents describing these ventures, and now have also explored much of their social, economic, political, and biographical underpinnings, we remain substantially ignorant about many aspects of these pioneering enterprises. Much of what we know or can learn lies in the archives and libraries of the European actors, but these sources are silent on crucial aspects of these ventures

Exploring the Archaeology of Early European-Inuit Contact 263

6 The Frobisher site research area: (i) Baffin Land in relation to England and (ii) the location of Kodlunarn Island and Kamaiyuk.

relating to Native peoples and their relations with Europeans. The Meta Incognita research project, in which the authors of this article have all been involved, was designed to bring the resources of scientific study to bear on a sixteenth-century event that had generated ample historical records, but where the scientific record invited fuller investigation. Our research program emerged from a thirty-year-old riddle that was resolved by a surprise discovery at the Smithsonian Institution in 1964. Curator Wilcomb Washburn happened upon an artefact that had been presented to the Smithsonian in the mid-i86os by American explorer/ journalist Charles Francis Hall (1865, 1866). Hall had found a site known to the Inuit as 'Kodlunarn' (White Man's Island) at the eastern entrance to Frobisher's Bay (see figure 6, i-ii) with mining trenches, architectural remains, and artefacts. The Inuit insisted to Hall that these events had transpired at Kodlunarn Island many generations ago rather than in recent decades, and that the qallunat (white men) had come first in two ships, 'then two or three, then many - very many vessels.'


Reginald Auger et al.

This convinced Hall (1865, 246-7) that he had identified the long-lost mines on Frobisher's Countess of Warwick Island (Kodlunarn Island). However, when Vilhjalmur Stcfansson, compiling his edition of the Frobisher voyages (Best [1578] 1938), consulted the Royal Geographical Society and the Smithsonian Institution on the whereabouts of Hall's collections, both institutions informed him that the collections were no longer available, having been 'mislaid' (Sayre et al. 1982, 442-3; Washburn 1993). The artefact that Washburn rediscovered was an iron 'bloom' (a mass of smelted iron ore) originally collected by Hall, and the archaeometallurgical investigation of its properties and history became our starting point. From an archaeological point of view, the Frobisher records already provide a rare window on the first encounters between Europeans and Inuit in post-Viking times. The official accounts of the 1576, 1577, and 1578 voyages contain descriptions of Inuit life and customs, housing, behaviour; of hostage-taking on both sides; of skirmishes between the English and Inuit; and of details of the establishment of shore camps, mines, and general operations (Best [1578] 1867; [1578] 1938). Edward Fenton's journal contains valuable details of the 1578 voyage and mining activities, including operations at Kodlunarn Island. The fate of the Inuit hostages can be traced to their graves in England (Cheshire et al. 1980), while the disappearance and presumed loss of a group of five sailors and the ship's boat in 1576 leads to a more ambiguous conclusion. In short, the ethnographic detail provided in these and other Frobisher accounts (Sturtevant and Quinn 1987), and from the John White illustrations, is remarkable for its day. Not until Zorgdrager's 1720 descriptions of Greenland Inuit, and Parry's of people in northern Hudson Bay in the 18205, are Frobisher's descriptions of Inuit people and culture substantially enhanced. These and other aspects of the Frobisher voyages have been under investigation since 1981 as part of an archaeological investigation of the Frobisher voyages themselves, and their impact on Inuit cultures of the east Baffin region (Fitzhugh and Olin 1993). In this essay we present a cross-section of the results so far obtained, to illuminate the context of exchange between the Inuit and the English towards the end of the Renaissance. The Setting: Environment and Culture

Frobisher Bay is on southeastern Baffin Island; the rugged landscape is formed on crystalline rocks of the Canadian Shield. On the south side

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of Frobisher Bay, two small ice caps cover the eastern end of the Meta Incognita peninsula; on the north side (Hall's Peninsula), ice and snow usually disappear during the summer months. The average July temperature is below 8° C, with annual precipitation of around 400 mm (Jacobs et al. 1985). Permanently frozen ground underlies a thin layer of soil that thaws during the summer months. This low arctic tundra zone (Jacobs 1988) is treeless and consists of many species of sedges, grasses, herbs, mosses, heath plants, and dwarf shrubs. Since spring is late and summer is short, starting in mid-June one can see willow catkins unfold their flowers, the flora burst into a mosaic of colours, and fields grow purple with fireweed. By mid-August crowberries and blueberries are ripe, and the hills are covered with red and yellow fall foliage of the bearberry plant. Two major climatic changes, the Medieval Optimum (ca AD 12501500) and the Little Ice Age (ca AD 1600-1800), have influenced the outer Frobisher Bay environment during the latest period of the Holocene (Grove 1988; Houghton, Callander, and Varney 1992). Both the medieval climate warming and the later cooler conditions would have had direct impacts on the resources available to the Inuit both from the sea and the land. Frobisher, like other European explorers, would have also felt the impact of climatic conditions corresponding with the beginning of the Little Ice Age as he and his fleet negotiated the sea ice in Davis Strait and the coastal waters off Frobisher Bay. Members of our research program have sought to reconstruct local manifestations of these global climatic episodes from animal and plant remains preserved in the archaeological record as well as from palaeoclimatic proxies preserved in glacier ice, lake sediments, and tree rings. Inuit populations inhabiting the eastern Arctic have a cultural history that began over four thousand years ago when the first Palaeo-Eskimo immigrated from the western Arctic (Damas 1984; Maxwell 1985). About AD 1000, people of the Thule culture, the direct ancestors of the Inuit, migrated to the eastern Arctic. Throughout this period, contact between the Inuit and other groups such as the Dorset people as well as interactions with an unpredictable physical environment and internal changes within their own society attest to a successful adaptation to their new environment. The last five hundred years represent the most recent part of this continuum, one that marks the entrance and participation of Inuit peoples in the world economy. The influx of commodities and new technologies created different needs for the Inuit, and required Inuit materials and labour to be traded in exchange, but the degree to

266 Reginald Auger et al.

which the Inuit participated in this global economy is still a subject for discussion. The settlement patterns and house structures of the sixteenth-century Inuit did not differ substantially from those of their ancestors. But in the nineteenth century, following the Little Ice Age, semi-subterranean sod and stone-walled structures were replaced by qarmat (winterized tents) on land and by snow houses on the ice. During the summer, light sealskin tent camps were located near Arctic char fishing areas. In the fall, people lived in qarmat and hunted caribou and seals, and in the winter they gathered in large snow-house villages on land or on the sea ice and hunted walrus, seal, polar bear and also caribou (Morrison 1983; McGhee ig84a; Maxwell 1985; McCartney and Savelle 1985; Stenton 1987; Park 1988, 1997)Martin Frobisher's Voyages to Baffin Island

The effervescent political and economic situation that characterized the expansion of England at the end of the Renaissance is at the heart of Martin Frobisher's voyages in search of a northwest passage. The trading of English woollens to Russia was under the monopoly of London's Muscovy Company, and when the English ranged farther afield, their attempts to reach China, made from the northeast of England during the 15508, were not successful. A favourite of Queen Elizabeth i, Frobisher exploited his political allies to gain permission to search for a northwest passage, the promised speedy route to Cathay, where immense riches were thought to abound. For fifteen years he had cherished the ambition to find the fabled passage, which he saw as 'the onley thing of the worlde that was left yet undone' (Best [1578] 1867, 70). Michael Lok, the treasurer of the Muscovy Company, was enticed by the prospect of making a quick profit in such an enterprise to the Orient, and he arranged for the financing of the first voyage to the Northwest in 1576. The voyagers set out from the Thames estuary in June 1576; this meant their northern, transatlantic return voyage would be late in the season. The fleet was small and thinly manned - two small barks and one pinnace, with a total complement of thirty-seven. They sailed up the east coast of England, rounded Scotland, and crossed to Greenland. As they neared the Greenland coast, the smallest of the three vessels sank, and the captain of the second, afraid to meet the same fate, sailed back to England. With much trouble, Frobisher decided to push his way farther west. On 26 July the captain came in sight of a promontory, which

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he named Queen Elizabeth Foreland. A cape to the north was sighted from afar, and he sailed between the two headlands for a distance of possibly sixty leagues. Because of the appearance of the Native people, the difference in duration of the flow and ebb tides, and an underestimation of the size of the earth, Frobisher and company concluded they were in a strait at the entrance to the Orient: Asia lay to the north and the Americas to the south. This confusion was accentuated by an implicit faith in the Zeno chart of 1558, which is now known to have been fictitious, and by the publication of Sir Humphrey Gilbert's A discourse to prove a passage ... to Cathay (Gilbert [1576] 1886), in which Gilbert provided a hypothetical map showing a passage crossing the temperate zone in the northern part of the New World. Two aspects of the first voyage are noteworthy: the encounters Frobisher had with the Inuit and the rocks the expedition brought back to England. Frobisher first met the Inuit approximately sixty leagues up the bay, which he had named Frobisher's Streytes. In the distance he saw figures whom he initially thought were 'porposes, or scales, or some kinde of strange fishe, but, coming nearer, he discovered them to be men in small boates made of leather' (Best [1578] 1867, 73). From his precarious vantage point on a hill, Frobisher narrowly escaped to his ship; the Inuit followed after him and came aboard the ship, bringing with them fish and raw flesh, which they 'greedily devoured ... before our mens faces' (Best [1578] 1867, 72-3). From the account of that voyage, we also learn that the Inuit exchanged coats of seal and bear skins for such things as bells, looking glasses, and other trinkets. But that first encounter soon turned sour. Following the reciprocal taking of captives and the loss of his shore boat and some sailors to the Inuit, Frobisher took a captive whom he brought back to England. The poor soul did not survive for long in that alien world; he died of a disease he had contracted at sea. On the same ship as the ailing captive were mineral samples from the island. These samples are of special interest, for they are at the root of the two subsequent expeditions. At landfall, a pitch-black rock, as large as a 'halfepennye loaf had been collected as token of possession of the new land. That rock would raise curiosity among financial backers, notably Michael Lok. After an early assay of the rock indicating rich ore (grading twenty-five ounces of gold to the ton), Lok, in consultation with the London-based Italian assayer Giovanni Battista Agnello, decided to pursue the idea of mounting a return expedition to Baffin Island. The gold rush was on.

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7 Aerial photograph of Kodlunarn Island.

The English mounted a second expedition the next year with the sole purpose of exploring for new sources of the rock they had collected; reaching China was no longer a consideration of the expedition. The second voyage was made with three ships and a complement of 145 persons, of whom eight were miners and three were assayers. The Saxontrained Jonas Shutz, who was to become chief technologist for the group in London, was master assayer. Frobisher initially explored a place called Beare Sound on the northeast coast of Frobisher Bay. Here they found a rock similar to the discovery of the previous year, but his crew was forced to depart because of the danger from drifting pack ice. The flotilla then sailed further up Frobisher Bay and discovered a sound, which they named Countess of Warwick Sound. They anchored off a tiny island with veins of the sought-after mineral, and named it Countess of Warwick Island. The island (see figures 7 and 9) - barely more than a barren eighthectare rock - not only yielded the black ore, but also provided a safe harbour and some protection for Frobisher's exposed crew from

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8 Ship's trench (1577 mine); excavation of the deposit left there by the 1578 Frobisher expedition.

increasingly provocative Inuit. In addition to mining and fortifying the island against Inuit attacks, Frobisher built an assay shop for testing the rocks. The fleet left on 24 August after loading aboard the three ships 158 tons of 'black ore' derived from a small trench on the north side of the island (figure 8). A test sample of 'red ore' was taken from Jonas Mount, facing Napoleon Bay, ten kilometres northeast of Countess of Warwick Island. This sample produced a sensational assay (grading forty ounces of gold per ton), a result that was mainly responsible for the next voyage (Hogarth, Boreham, and Mitchell 1994, 34, 44). On the voyagers' return to England, funding had to be raised to build furnaces for processing the ore they had brought back. However, delays in the search for sufficient funding prevented them from working on the ore, and it was not assessed before a third expedition was under way. Plans had been made for an impressive expedition, which left Harwich on 31 May 1578. That fleet comprised slightly over 400 men aboard fifteen ships, including 156 miners and 5 assayers supervised by goldsmith Robert Denham. The goal of the third expedition was to mine as much ore as possible, ship it to England, and to leave behind a colony of min-

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9 Industrial area on Kodlunarn Island, showing evidence of two shops used by chemists brought to Baffin Island by Frobisher in 1578.

ers, soldiers, and carpenters. Altogether, one hundred men were to remain, with provisions for eighteen months. The north Atlantic crossing did not turn out as expected; late spring weather conditions prevented the fleet from reaching Baffin Island until two months later, and it was a much battered fleet that arrived in the bay. The thirteen vessels that remained were in dire need of repair. Missing was the Dennis, a hundred-ton ship carrying materials for construction of the house intended for the establishment of the colony, and the Thomas, which had deserted. Realizing that too many parts for the house were missing, the men abandoned plans to leave colonists behind, and everyone was brought back to England. Frobisher nevertheless intended to return to Countess of Warwick Island the next year, and before leaving he buried dry goods and other provisions on Countess of Warwick Island and filled his vessels with about 1,245 tons of 'black ore.' One ship containing 110 tons was wrecked on the homeward voyage, but the remainder reached England. Arriving in England, Frobisher discovered that his 1577 ore contained neither gold nor silver; and the same would prove true for his shiploads of 1578. The rocks were worthless. Thus ended, rather ignominiously, Frobisher and Lok's Northwest

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venture. Beginning with the second voyage, a loosely bound company had directed operations, but Queen Elizabeth i, who had contributed an aging royal ship as the major part of her investment, refused to sanction incorporation. In the end many shareholders lost money, some mariners remained unpaid, and Michael Lok, the prime force behind the venture, went to debtors' prison. At least twenty-four lives were lost, four ships were wrecked, and twenty-two ships and pinnaces were destroyed. No gold was produced and hardly any silver. As ventures in exploration, the voyages were shrouded in secrecy; detailed geographical information was expunged from published accounts, and maps were deliberately made vague, if not purposely distorted. Information useful to England's enemies was not going to be available from this venture. What, then, was accomplished? Perhaps the Frobisher venture is best accounted for as a prestige exercise. England needed national unity and international prestige at a time when Spain was becoming the centre of European attention and was regarded by many as the dominant European power. Despite the suppression of geographical information, the hardships of the voyages and the strange accounts of an inaccessible region stimulated a new national pride and respect for England on the continent. Besides constituting a successful exercise in national purpose, the voyages laid the foundation for the seventeenth-century explorations that resulted in British sovereignty over North America's Arctic islands. Tangible, but perhaps more important for history, was the geographic and ethnographic information gained, which was not to be surpassed for another 250 years. Nineteenth- and twentieth-century investigators have now returned to the scientific evidence to shed fresh light on the venture, and in particular on its Canadian rather than its English aspects. Archaeological Investigations The Elizabethan site at Kodlunarn Island and the coexisting Inuit site at Kamaiyuk (figures 9 and 10), as well as other Elizabethan and Inuit sites in Frobisher Bay (Stenton 1987), have now been investigated for several years (1981, 1990-4) by the Canadian, American, and British researchers of the Meta Incognita project. Combining Inuit oral history, written accounts of the voyages, archival research, and archaeology, this effort has greatly expanded our knowledge of the history of the Frobisher voyages. In particular, our research has focused on two subjects: the archaeology of Kodlunarn Island and other Elizabethan sites in Frobisher Bay,

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10 Sod house at the Inuit site of Kamaiyuk showing interior flooring of rocks approximately two feet below ground surface; the roof rafters were of whale rib.

and Inuit-European contacts and cultural change (Alsford 1993; Fitzhugh and Olin 1993; Gullason 1999; Henshaw 1995; Hogarth, Boreham, and Mitchell 1994). Here, we want to address several key issues: (i) the history of the Frobisher sites on Kodlunarn Island; (2) the dating of the Frobisher remains and the question of Norse contacts; (3) the problem of the 'lost sailors'; (4) the assays of the 'black ore'; (5) the provisioning of a sixteenth-century Arctic expedition; and (6) the history of Inuit occupations and Inuit-European contact. Research on Kodlunarn Island

A principal effort of the project has been directed towards providing modern documentation of the Frobisher site on Kodlunarn Island. This site is important not only because it represents the remains of the first English establishment in the Americas, but because it is a valuable source of information on early mining technology and pyrotechnology related to assaying. Furthermore it represents an unusual archaeological opportunity to document the provisioning of a sixteenth-century Arctic expedition. The site is also an important archaeological monu-

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merit, which needs to be investigated in order to document what material objects from the Elizabethan world were available to the Inuit, and how the Inuit utilized them. Although the 1577-8 expeditions exploited minerals at various locations, Kodlunarn Island was chosen as Frobisher's base camp for supplies, assaying, ship repair, and blacksmithing. The prime reason was that it had a vein of black ore that would become the source of 158 tons of rock exported to England in 1577. Despite the fact that in the intervening four hundred years Kodlunarn Island has been visited by Inuit, explorers, treasure seekers, and archaeologists alike, excavation has revealed that much of the original Frobisher site - for example, the remains of the house that was built there - is intact and amenable to archaeological study. The Frobisher house was initially intended as an experiment to test English expertise in building in a cold environment. On 30 August 1578 Frobisher reported: This daye the masons finished a house whiche Captaine Fenton caused to be made of lyme and stone upon the Countesse of Warwickes Ilande, to the ende we mighte prove against the nexte yeare, whether the snow coulde overwhelm it, the frosts break uppe, or the people dismember the same' (Best [1578] 1867, 272). The structure was also intended by the expedition to encourage relations with the Inuit: 'And the better to allure those brutish and uncivill people to courtesie, againste others times of our comming, we lefte therein dyvers of our countrie toyes, as bells, and knives, wherein they specially delight... Also pictures of men and women in lead, men a horsebacke, lookinglasses, whistles, and pipes. Also in the house was made an oven, and breade left baked therein, for them to see and taste' (Best [1578] 1867, 272). The house is by far the most damaged feature at the site. Yet after removing the various debris left by previous expeditions, we were able to identify both the southeast and the northwest corners. Large rocks had been used to make the inside and outside facing walls while smaller rocks were incorporated in between them. All were joined together by the use of a porous mortar containing bits of flint. A line of mortar along the southeast corner resembles a builders' trench. The house floor was identified by the presence of a brown soil in which charcoal fragments were recovered adjacent to the north wall; however, the limited time available for work prevented us from locating the doorway. Picking through the debris left after the various tests of the house, we were able to recover green glazed and black glazed stove tiles similar to the ones recovered from the ship's trench.

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What Hall reported from his informants as a reservoir has been identified as Frobisher's mining trench. Hall stated, 'I soon came across an excavation, which was probably the commencement of a mine dug by Frobisher, though the Innuits, judging only from what they saw, called it a reservoir for fresh water, a quantity of which collected in it at certain seasons. This excavation was at some distance from the ruins of the stone houses, and was eighty-eight feet long and six feet deep' (Hall 1865, 389). The Inuit interpretation of this feature results from the fact that water accumulates in it during spring runoff. Although the prime reason for the trench was undoubtedly mineral extraction, the Inuit suggestion that it was a water reservoir is also reasonable, since the melting of permafrost in summer allows for the accumulation of water in the depression. Mining activities are attested by the black ore spoil found particularly at the south end of the reservoir. The depression measures twenty-five metres long by four metres wide. In all likelihood, since water is not readily available on the island another man-made feature discovered on the west side of the hilltop house may be a well. An eroded promontory on the east side of the island is probably the site of a defensive feature described by George Best in 1577: 'On Thurseday, the ninth of August, we beganne to make a small fort for our defence in the Countesse Hand, and entrenched a corner of a cliffe, which on thre parts like a wall of good heygth was compassed and well fenced with the sea, and we finished the rest with caskes of earth to good purpose, and this was called Bestes Bulwarke' (Best [1578] 1867, 148). Erosion has eliminated any original Frobisher traces in this area as well as most of the promontory. What Hall terms the 'ship's trench' was actually first excavated as a mine in 1577; most of our excavation effort has been spent testing this feature. Rock samples from this trench were identical with those discovered at Dartford (Hogarth, Boreham and Mitchell 1994, 132). In 1578 the trench was used as a place to cache excess food, timber, and other dry goods intended for the following year. Physically, this feature is a V-shaped cut through the ledges on the north shore of the island that measures twenty-six metres long by six metres wide at the shoreline. In 1993 a nine-square-metre excavation unit was begun, and was enlarged in 1994 to an area of eighteen square metres. Excavation reached a depth of one metre below the surface, with permafrost encountered at O.6 m. Analysis of the profile shows the presence of wood chips and shavings and other evidence of wood working above the layer in which goods were buried by the 1578 departing expedition. Should this inter-

Exploring the Archaeology of Early European-Inuit Contact 275 pretation be confirmed by other evidence, it would lend credence to the Inuit oral tradition that shipbuilding activities by white men, the 'lost sailors,' followed the departure of the Frobisher expedition. Aside from possible evidence of boat-building activities, our excavations proved that the trench was used to store food, as the last expedition records. At 0.6 m below the surface, we exposed a compact layer of peas frozen in permafrost. We also recovered a blackened concretion containing grains of wheat and barley. Some of that blackened matter has the imprint of the inside of a barrel, indicating the storing of a coarse flour, probably for baking ship's biscuit. Barrel staves and hoops were also found, as well as over twenty thousand stove tile fragments. When reconstructed, these fragments exhibit stamped impressions showing scenes of classical mythology; two of them bear a date of 1561, which fixes their time of manufacture. Some of the same tiles have also been recovered from excavations at contemporary Inuit sites, and oral tradition transmitted to Hall (1865, 244-5) makes reference to Inuit grinding them into powder in order to polish their brass ornaments. An exceptional discovery is that of a wicker basket found at 0.8 m below the surface. Contemporary sixteenth-century illustrations show that baskets were used in mining, and in the Frobisher case they were probably employed to load black ore aboard the ships. The ruin Hall called a 'shop' was tested in 1981 (Fitzhugh I993a, 66, Structure i) and at that time, based on the presence of large amounts of slag, fire brick, cinder, and coal, was believed to be a blacksmith shop. However, our 1994 work revealed a different picture. Instead of finding scales and metal droplets originating from welding activities and common to a blacksmith shop (cf. Light and Unglik 1987), we recovered thousands of fragments of crucibles but almost no evidence of metal working; chemical analysis of soil samples failed to produce the high iron content characteristic of a blacksmith shop. We now believe this location was used primarily for assaying ore rather than for iron working. A second feature (Fitzhugh I993a, 68, Structure 2) investigated in 1994 lies thirteen metres to the northwest of the first shop. Surface evidence prior to excavation appeared to indicate a foundation measuring 15 by 15 feet (4.5 by 4.5 m). A three-by-one-metre test unit across its east wall revealed a dry stone wall. Unlike what was revealed at the first shop, this structure yielded few crucible fragments, but produced many fragments of cupels (small assaying vessels of bone-ash); in addition there were refractory clay materials that may be related to the use of an assay oven. The lead scraps recovered will be used to test the lead/gold con-

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lamination hypothesis put forth by Hogarth (1993) and described below. Dating the Frobisher Remains

So convincing was Hall's discovery that for more than a century few scholars questioned his interpretation that Kodlunarn was the site of Frobisher's lost mines. However, in 1980 radiocarbon assays on the Smithsonian iron bloom collected by Hall and newly identified by Washburn produced two dates (AD 1230-1400, 1160-1280) that suggested Norse rather than Frobisher origin. Several scholars associated with the bloom study (Sayre et al. 1982; Harbottle, Cresswell, and Stoenner 1993) have maintained that the radiocarbon assays and bloom typology indicate an early medieval age for these unusual artefacts. These views have since been amplified by historical studies (e.g., Seaver 1996) that have questioned the general view that Norse contacts in the New World west of Greenland were, in general, rare events. But in 1981 a Smithsonian field investigation recovered wood and charcoal samples from Kodlunarn Island structures associated with artefacts that we attributed to Frobisher. The wood and charcoal samples dated to the Frobisher period and were identified as European hardwoods; thus they could not have originated from local driftwood or Scandinavian sources (Laeyendecker 1993)- Three new iron blooms were also recovered the same year from Kodlunarn, and although questions about their date and origin have not been completely answered, the consensus is that they seemingly were carried as ship ballast by the Frobisher party (Fitzhugh 1997). In our view, these peculiar artefacts are those described in the Frobisher financial records as 'paid for vc. yronstones of Russia at iiij pece beinge vj tones for balliste for the Gabriell bought of master Patrik & R. Hopton' (McDermott 1984, 144) and which were off-loaded on Kodlunarn for the purpose of making room for ore cargo (Fitzhugh I993b, 236). Though it has been suggested that the blooms had been exposed to contamination by ancient carbon introduced during smithing activities (Unglik 1993), radiocarbon assays from carbon extracted from the interior of the blooms, remote from external contamination, are found to date roughly to the Elizabethan period (Fitzhugh I993b, 232-4). Despite ambiguities and the need for further study of the three new Frobisher blooms, our research places these artefacts securely in a Frobisher context, from all points of evidence: archaeological context, typology, metallurgy, and dating.

Exploring the Archaeology of Early European-Inuit Contact 277 The Lost Sailors: Documentary Evidence versus Inuit Oral History

One of the questions emerging from this new archaeological work concerns the fate of the five sailors who, according to the accounts of the 1576 voyage, were taken captive by the Inuit. In 1577, expedition members believed they had found evidence of the lost sailors in York Sound on the other side of the bay from the place where they had been taken captive. Wrote Best, 'They also beheld (to their greatest marvaile) a dublet of canvas, made after the Englishe fashion, a shirt, a girdle, three shoes for contrarie feete and of unequal bignesse, which they well conjectured to be the apparell of our five poore countriemen whiche were intercepted the laste yeare by these countrie people, aboute fiftye leagues from this place further within the straightes' (Best [1578] 1867, 140-1). Although they could not locate their lost sailors, Captain Yorke left them a message to signal his whereabouts. Yet oral tradition recorded among the Inuit in 1860-1 by Hall (1865) brings to light another version of the 'lost sailors' incident. As it was reported to Hall, a group of white men were abandoned in Frobisher Bay; the Inuit helped them survive the following winter; and in the spring they built a ship (presumably from timbers cached by Frobisher at Countess of Warwick Island). Inuit history tells that the sailors tried to sail away before the ice had cleared, and perished in a storm. Hall's informants, when asked how they knew this story, replied, 'all the old Innuits said so' (Hall 1865,390). It is unclear whether these accounts relate to the same incident or to separate ones. English sources speak of a single group of lost sailors, the group lost in the 1576 incident. It might be reasonable to believe that the Inuit account tells another version of this incident, but there are difficulties with such an attribution. Since Frobisher did not discover Kodlunarn Island until 1577, the Inuit account of the lost sailors must follow the final departure of the Frobisher party in September 1578; Frobisher never finds evidence of his 1576 men having been on Kodlunarn, which, given the explicit details of the Inuit account, was certainly the location of the event they are describing. Susan Rowley has studied the Inuit responses to Hall's questions and finds their responses consistent and unelaborated; when they did not know an answer they responded that they had never heard of it. 'Certainly the Inuit believed they were transmitting factual information to Hall - information they had received from their parents who in turn had received it from their parents' (Rowley 1993, 35). It is possible, however, that the differing oral and


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documentary accounts can be reconciled. Edward Fenton gives a vivid account of Frobisher's chaotic departure from the bay in September 1578, during a powerful two-day storm. On the evening of 2 September, a pinnace was sent to overtake the ship Mooneznd may not have reached its objective. Were these the English sailors oral tradition still preserved an account of when the Inuit spoke to Hall three centuries later? In the pinnace they could have returned to Kodlunarn, wintered in Frobisher's house, established amicable social relationships with the Inuit, and trading goods for meat and clothing. If indeed they built a boat and departed in the spring, they would have encountered the Arctic ice-pack a few miles offshore, and lost their primitive vessel to the ice. Analysis of the written and Inuit accounts together with new archaeological data from Kodlunarn, such as that of the ship's trench described above, may provide clues that will reconcile the two versions of the end of Frobisher's stay on Kodlunarn. Elizabethan Mining and Metallurgy

Documentary and archaeological evidence both indicate that smallscale mining and metallurgical operations took place on Countess of Warwick Island during the second and third Frobisher voyages. On third voyage, about 1,250 tons of black ore were loaded from Countess of Warwick Island and six mines on the north shore of Frobisher Bay and one on Resolution Island. All but no tons reached England. In the meantime, however, small-scale assays of Frobisher's ore had been made in England, first near the Tower of London and then at other sites in the city. The presence of gold and silver was determined in much the same way as in fire assays today. The ore was melted, and precious metals were dissolved in molten lead. The lead was then oxidized and the remaining impurities dissolved in lead oxide. Finally, the silver from the remaining gold-silver alloy was separated by adding a suitable acid, and silver, now in solution, was then precipitated as a chloride. Larger-scale operations (both bulk assays and pilot-plant extraction tests) were later conducted at the Bignores estate, south of the Thames, about twenty kilometres downstream from the London furnaces. The technology at Bignores was similar to the London furnaces, but the plant operated on a grander scale: the old foot bellows used in the London melting operations became a 'great bellows' activated with a water wheel; crushing and grinding was accomplished in a water-powered circuit instead of by mortars and pestles. But despite improved efficiency, little gold

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appeared. The metallurgists (and Michael Lok) blamed the furnaces, not the ore, and there were charges and counter-charges over the abilities of the furnaces. Then, amidst a series of petty squabbles, the Bignores plant was closed after having operated for only fifteen weeks. The 'company' decided to return to the London furnaces for one last attempt to wring gold from the recalcitrant ore, using the 'old order,' which reportedly had previously produced acceptable results. Yet these tests were hardly better than those at Bignores. Finally in 1583 William Williams, assay-master of the Mint in the Tower, checked the ore and found neither gold nor silver. How was it possible that the five assayers hired for Frobisher's 1578 expedition failed to recognize that the ore they were assaying was worthless? Hogarth (1993) has suggested that the assays were skewed by the presence of gold and silver in the lead additive used by the field assayers in their assays. This hypothesis is impossible to test from documentary sources because the logbooks containing the records of the 1578 field assays blew out of Frobisher's cabin window (as he described it), and were lost at sea on the return voyage (Hogarth, Boreham, and Mitchell 1994, 51). Of course, forgery is another likely hypothesis, because Frobisher and Lok had much at stake in the venture. Another explanation, one which cannot be summarily dismissed, is that Frobisher's assayers were untrained, or lacked metallurgical experience to perform reliable assays, particularly for the last stage, which involved the separation of gold from silver. We continue to study these various hypotheses. What in fact was Frobisher's precious cargo? In modern geological parlance, the black ores are hornblende-rich highly metamorphosed basic and ultrabasic igneous rocks - most unlikely candidates for a concentration of precious metals. Samplings of this cargo have been found at Smerwick Harbour, Ireland, at the site of a wrecked Frobisher vessel, and at Dartford, England, site of the ore-storage depot two kilometres south of the Bignores furnaces. (Hogarth, Boreham and Mitchell 1994, 59-100). Some of these rocks can be traced to individual trenches in Frobisher Bay. However, recent analyses of the principal ore types (Baffin, Dartford, and Smerwick) averaged 4 parts per billion (ppb) gold only, compared with 3.5 ppb in the Earth's crust! The Elizabethan assays were ten thousand times too high. The original sandy 'red ore' was likely oxidized sulphide ('gossan'), and rocks of this type in other areas can hold large amounts of gold and silver. None of these materials can be construed as 'fool's gold,' and use of this term to describe the Frobisher ores should be discontinued.

280 Reginald Auger et al. The Archaeology of a Protohistoric Inuit Site: Material Culture

Frobisher and his group met with Inuit on several occasions, and the initial encounters were positive; the Englishmen had even brought a few items for trade. Sometimes Inuit came on board to trade, and after several courteous meetings, trust was established on both sides. The Inuit spent time explaining the names and functions of many items of their culture. However, relations irretrievably broke down in 1576 after five of the ships' men disappeared on shore. In revenge, an Inuk was taken hostage and brought back to England. The on-going conflict culminated in the Bloody Point battle in 1577, when several Inuit were killed and a young woman and child were taken prisoner and brought to England (Cheshire et al. 1980; Sturtevant and Quinn 1987). During the third year, the Inuit deliberately avoided the English, and there was very little direct contact between the two peoples. As is common among early economic encounters, the European goods traded to the Inuit were a combination of strictly utilitarian and more frivolous items, among them bells, pins, needles, mirrors, and knives. There are recorded instances of direct trading and gift giving, and indirect trade, in the form of items left in abandoned kayaks or tents. As we have seen, during the final season, Frobisher left many items 'to allure those brutish and uncivil people to courtesy' in the little house he had built on the summit of Kodlunarn. Moreover, anticipating their own return, the English buried timber, barrels of provisions, and other things in the ship's trench. More Elizabethan goods were made available through outright abandonment. Towards the end of the second voyage, we read 'it was now good time to leave; for, as the men were wel wearied, so their shoes and clothes were well worne, their baskets bottoms torne out, their tooles broken and the shippes reasonably well filled' (Best [1578] 1867, 152). Traces of the Elizabethan presence in Frobisher Bay have now been found in the artefact collections at five Inuit sites: fragments of green-glazed stove tile, bits of clay roof tile, English flint and coal, iron, wood, glass beads, and a small silver knife blade. Direct trade with the Elizabethans had little significant long-term effect on Inuit culture. The impact of the Elizabethan expeditions lies in the fact that they provide new raw materials (wood, iron, coal, brick, tile) as sources for the Inuit. Significantly, however, certain iron objects, notably blooms, were neither consistently collected nor exploited as a source of iron, either because they were not interpreted as such or

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because the Inuit did not have the technology to extract the metal from these blooms (Ehrenreich and Wayman 1993, 146). Indeed, if one of the problems with interpreting sixteenth-century Inuit-European interaction lies in the paucity of material evidence recovered, this is especially true of metal items, which were highly valued, heavily reused, and rapidly corroded. The issue is complicated by the extensive use by the Inuit of deposits of meteoric iron in the Arctic prior to European contact. In fact, McGhee (i984b) has called the Thule period preceding contact, an 'iron age' culture, this based on its widespread presence. McCartney's term, 'epi-metallurgy,' is more precise, however, since it denotes dependency on, rather than the production of metal. Epi-metallurgy is technologically an intermediate phase between no metal use and abundant metal use, and is marked by careful curation and manufacture of miniaturized tools. Once more-routine European contact was established beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, the steady flow of manufactured metal goods into Inuit society required less need for careful curation of iron or production of miniaturized cutting/grooving/scraping blades (McCartney 1991, 29). McCartney (1991) has suggested that the rate of Thule metal use accelerated after AD 1600, owing to the great 'influx' of metal from the Frobisher expeditions and those that followed. The Meta Incognita project considered this hypothesis by looking at prehistoric and sixteenth- to eighteenth-century Thule Inuit artefacts from three sites in Frobisher Bay for evidence of metal use (Gullason, !999)- The most useful line of evidence, blade slot width, indicated that tool slots containing metal blades general measured less than three millimetres wide, while those containing slate blades were over four millimetres wide. Slot widths between three and four millimetres could have held either material. Although tool function was found to have a greater influence on the blade slot width than the actual material of the blade, blade slot width strongly confirmed the presence of metal use in prehistoric contexts. However, contrary to McCartney's prediction, there appears to have been a dedinein metal use after 1600, compared to prehistoric times. It appears that, despite the proximity of the Frobisher base camp and its supply of metal, much less metal was used in the initial contact period than in precontact times. Moveover, the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the period of indirect middleman contact from ship-based trade in Hudson Strait, showed a frequency of metal-edged tools nearly identical to that of the precontact period. In fact, the real increase in metal use did not occur at the AD 1600 watershed but well after AD 1850 (Gullason 1999).

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Because little ethnographic information exists for the period AD 1400-1850 from outer Frobisher Bay, our knowledge of Inuit protohistoric economies comes largely from archaeological evidence at Kamaiyuk, the Inuit site three kilometres northeast of Kodlunarn Island. It is this site that we believe was described by George Best in 1577: Upon the maine land over against the Countesses Hand we discovered, and behelde to our great marvell, the poore caves and houses of those countrie people, which serve them (as it shoulde seeme) for their winter dwellings & are made two fadome under grounde ... From the ground upward they builde with whales bones, for lacke of timber, whiche bending one over another, are handsomly compacted in the toppe togither, & are covered over with Scales skinnes, which in stead of tiles, fenceth them from the rayne. In cache house they have only one roome, having the one halfe of the floure raysed with broad stones a fote higher than ye other, whereon strawing Mosse, they make their nests to sleepe in. (Best [1578] 1938, 1: 64)

Kamaiyuk is located near the rich marine resources of the outer Frobisher Bay polynia, a permanent ice-free water zone that probably also existed at the time the site was occupied. The site dates between AD 1470-1650 and contains three large bilobate semi-subterranean structures, one single lobe semi-subterranean structure, and two halferoded semi-subterranean structures. Seal remains made up almost half of the non-Cetacean mammals identified from each of the four houses excavated at Kamaiyuk. In addition to ringed seals, both harp and harbour seals are also present at the site, indicating that open-water sea-mammal hunting was practised by Kamaiyuk's inhabitants. Other species adapted to open-water or floeedge habitats, including walrus and bearded seal, were also recovered in fairly high percentages. Although caribou are available on a year-round basis in this area, few caribou remains were recovered. Difficulties in hunting caribou in winter before the introduction of firearms may help explain the low percentage of caribou remains identified (Henshaw !Q95) • The high percentage of dog remains represent 9.29 per cent MNI (Minimum Number of Individuals); this is another feature that stands out in the Kamaiyuk faunal assemblage. Dogs were obviously extremely important to Kamaiyuk residents. From ethnographic data we know that dogs were used for transportation, for hunting, and, as a last resort, as a food source (Damas 1984, 405; Saladin D'Anglure 1984, 498). Neverthe-

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less, it is curious why these animals are so heavily represented in the remains. Perhaps those concentrations resulted from starvation or from the use of dogs as food during difficult times. Another important finding from this data is that Kamaiyuk residents brought seal carcasses back to camp whole and then divided the meat between household groups (Henshaw 1995). This interpretation is based on the analysis of seal element frequency found within each of the structures excavated. Such practices help maintain intragroup cohesion at the household level. Perhaps significantly, this custom becomes more prevalent during later periods of European contact in the Frobisher Bay sites. Wood was an important commodity traditionally traded among Inuit groups. Thule Inuit people used wood for the manufacturing of tool handles, bowls, dishes, spoons, snow shovels, weapons, sleds, skin boat frames, and sometimes in house construction. Driftwood, however, was their only source of wood. The beaches of the western Canadian Arctic and Alaska have generally larger amounts of driftwood than beaches in the central and eastern regions (Giddings 1941). In addition, because of the scarcity of driftwood in certain areas, whalebone was often used in house construction by central and eastern Inuit groups (C. Arnold 1994). As we might expect, beginning with the Frobisher period, more and different wood was introduced to the Inuit by European explorers and, from the second half of the nineteenth century, by American and European whalers and traders. The composition of driftwood also changed, when shipwrecks and debris from the timber industry in Siberia and Canada brought more wood into circulation in the Arctic Ocean. Wood has a limited buoyancy; coniferous wood is estimated to stay afloat on open water about ten months. Incorporated into sea ice and transported by currents in the Arctic Ocean, driftwood from the boreal forest regions of Canada, Alaska, and Russia can stay afloat and reach distant beaches (Haggblom 1982). Wooden artefacts and chips from wood working were excavated in large quantities from Inuit sites at Kamaiyuk and other locations in Frobisher Bay. Preservation of this otherwise perishable material can be very good in arctic sites because of frozen conditions. At the Kamaiyuk Thule Inuit site we found some evidence of European woods - fragments of oak, elm, and walnut - but only a few European wooden artefacts, including an eighteenth-century pistol-shaped knife handle of maple and a tubstave of oak. The Inuit who lived here throughout the period of the Fro-

284 Reginald Auger et al.

bisher voyages, and for nearly a century afterward, made most of their tools in the traditional way using driftwood. Here again we find that the model that suggests that European methods quickly replaced Native practices is not well supported by existing evidence. Conclusions: Towards a More Decentred History

When our work first began, a prestigious institution commented to the effect that the historical record of the Frobisher voyages is so detailed that further research was unnecessary; the only question that remained was its precise location, and Hall had settled even that in 1861. This is the quintessential Eurocentric view. In fact, our work suggests that one must decentre history as well as European studies of the New World in general to develop a fuller understanding of the Frobisher voyages and the impact they had on the history of the Baffin Island Inuit. Knowledge gained from archaeology, archaeometry and materials science, and oral history offers alternate views of history, reinforcing, augmenting, and sometimes disproving those gained from traditional historical and archival studies. The results obtained to date from the Meta Incognita archaeological programs have necessitated revisions in the European historical accounts that until now have been the dominant source of information on this early chapter of Europe-in-America. The 'new voices' now being heard are not only those of disciplines that provide novel sources and perspectives; they are also those of Native peoples, the evidence of whose lives challenges the European epic of discovery. In addition to their oral traditions, the information contained in their ancient archaeological sites provides materials for reassessing the Eurocentric historical tradition. Among the 'decentred' perspectives reached in our studies, we may cite the following. From analyses of European metal and wood excavated from Inuit sites in Frobisher Bay, it is clear that, although their introduction was certainly important for Inuit living in this area, as demonstrated by the existence of oral testimony of the i86os (Hall 1865), its symbolic value outweighed its practical importance for the Inuit. There is little evidence of any fundamental economic shift in the lives or culture of the resident Inuit that can be attributed to Elizabethan contact. Faunal analyses also show that sixteenth-century Inuit continued to seek locally available resources to fulfil their dietary needs. Although the Frobisher voyages marked the onset of new transformations, those expeditions

Exploring the Archaeology of Early European-Inuit Contact 285

were mostly ship-based, leaving few possibilities for intensive interaction with local Inuit and no chance to undermine their local economic base. As Graburn has suggested (1969, 101), European explorers probably were treated by the Inuit more like migratory animals than as a formidable economic or colonial force. Definite changes in eating habits and technology appear in the archaeological record only for later phases of contact, beginning around 1840, when the American and European whale fishery reached the region; for the early period, direct evidence of transformation is modest, perhaps almost non-existent. Did contact with the Frobisher expeditions result in important indirect effects on the organization of Inuit society? The repeated visitations by the Frobisher fleet and the new and useful materials, obtained first in trade and later by scavenging caches, certainly provided the Inuit with new information about the world and its inhabitants. Yet, it was only gradually that the Inuit became aware of a society that was substantially more advanced technologically than their own. Access to European materials and goods could also be used as an advantage in economic exchanges with neighbouring groups, as is demonstrated by the presence of Frobisher stove tiles and other materials at the Qaamarviit site, located at the head of Frobisher Bay (Stenton 1983, 1987). More generally, archaeologists have argued that European contact resulted in subtle shifts in Inuit social and political organization, in changes in settlement systems and patterns that enhanced contact opportunities, and in changes in ritual and ceremonial life. European goods made their way into the amulets used in Inuit ritual, as reported by one of Hall's informants, who described their use to adorn a stone monument located in the hills north of Frobisher Bay (Hall 1865, 497). But if these were the effects of European culture on the Inuit, the effect of Inuit culture on North Americans of European origin - perhaps by requiring, after four centuries, the very raising of the question - is a subject yet to be investigated. In short, a new history of European discovery, of contact and transformation of both Europeans and Native Americans, must now incorporate perspectives that before were not seen as in the mainstream of the academic enterprise. The Frobisher chapter provides a useful case study for such a new approach to history. Few early European ventures in the New World are so early and so well documented. Its impact was regionally specific, and had precise bearings on a resident Native population whose archaeological sites and oral histories are available. The result is to provide resources for studies of European-Native interaction at a

286 Reginald Auger et al.

crucial era in history. Whether or not the impacts of contact were immediately registered on the Inuit or the English is immaterial. There is much to learn, but only with the aid of new approaches and research programs that cross not only ethnic and political boundaries but academic and public ones as well. Though these approaches are still experimental, the benefits of multivocal research are beginning to take root. NOTE l This paper has been assembled by Dosia Laeyendecker and Reginald Auger from individual paper presentations by all of the authors.

Sir William Phips and the Decentring of Empire in Northeastern North America, 1690-1694 Emerson W. Baker and John G. Reid

On a mid-November day in 1693, the governor of Massachusetts happened to pass by the scene of an argument on a Boston wharf. Sir William Phips was stopped by one of the protagonists, the Huguenot merchant Benjamin Faneuil, and informed that the customs officials William Hill and Henry Francklyn were about to seize the vessel and cargo of an Acadian trader, Abraham Boudrot. Their authority came from the collector of customs for New England, Jahleel Brenton. 'For what?' the governor demanded. Faneuil replied too softly to be heard by Hill and Francklyn, who described the incident in a later deposition, but his words prompted a declaration by Phips that must have been clearly audible for some distance around. Boudrot and Faneuil, the governor proclaimed, 'are as good or better English men than the Collector is, and let him seize them if he dare. If he doth, I will break his head.' Understandably, Hill and Francklyn then abandoned their effort to seize Boudrot's shallop, and its 'sundry Packs of Beaver and ... considerable quantity of skins and small Furrs' were soon safely unloaded.1 In part, Phips's defence of Boudrot and Faneuil represented a small skirmish in an ongoing conflict between the governor and the collector over the powers of entering and clearing vessels.2 Yet there was more to it than merely embracing an opportunity to pursue a long-standing quarrel. Phips's declaration, and in particular the inclusiveness of his definition of 'good ... English men,' was a product of the need for a New England governor of this era to reach accommodations with members of non-English communities whose acquiescence was essential to the pursuit of English economic interests. It was indicative of severe limitations on English influence in northeastern North America, even in areas to which an imperial claim had been asserted. The decentring of

288 Emerson W. Baker and John G. Reid

empire in this way could not be admitted explicitly in reports to London, and was liable for this reason to be a volatile element in Phips's interactions with political enemies such as Brenton. Yet Phips, who had grown up in close proximity to both French and Wabanaki inhabitants, was in an unusually apt position to realize and act upon the need for negotiated relationships. His associations with London merchants, gained later in life, also enabled him to commercialize his negotiating skills in search of personal profit. While Phips's activities were ultimately unsuccessful, either in consolidating imperial ascendancy or in adding significantly to his personal wealth, they did demonstrate the extent to which Acadian and Wabanaki influences were central to the dynamics of empire in this place and time. Boudrot was one example of an Acadian who understood all of this with evident clarity. He and Faneuil, by November 1693, were trading partners of at least two and a half years' standing. Regarding the Englishness of Faneuil, a Huguenot refugee from France who had been naturalized in 1687 and formally admitted to the colony of Massachusetts some four years later, there could be no serious debate.3 Boudrot's status was different. An Acadian trader from Port-Royal, thirty years old in 1693, he was one of those who had conducted an illegal trade during the i68os, carrying furs, feathers, and some agricultural products to Boston in return for textiles, manufactured goods, spices, and other commodities. Familiar as he was with New England - and the same applied in all likelihood to his crew - it was the clear understanding of Hill and FranckJyn that 'the said Boudroit [sic] and all his Mariners ... [were] Frenchmen as they owned themselves to be.'4 Phips's contrary assertion rested in part on the specific ground of his administration of an oath of allegiance to a number of Port-Royal inhabitants in 1690, following his successful raid on the chief Acadian settlement in the spring of that year. Phips had claimed 'Port-Royal and places adjacent' as long-standing possessions of the English Crown, and in the following year 'Nova Scotia' had been added - along with all the territory southwestwards as far as the tip of the old Province of Maine at the Piscataqua River - to the colony of Massachusetts Bay. As far as Phips was concerned, Boudrot and his crew were inhabitants of the Massachusetts colony, and Boudrot for one had long acknowledged himself as 'included and under the present Subjection of those parts to the Crowne of England.' 5 There was also a broader imperial and commercial context. Phips's appointment as governor had depended crucially on his enlistment in London of the support of influential members of the Whig mercantile

Sir William Phips and the Decentring of Empire


elite. On the basis of his success at Port-Royal, and of what he effectively portrayed as the honourable failure of his attempt on Quebec later in 1690, Phips held out the promise of lucrative new trades in furs, naval stores, and mineral products, which would flow from English control of the great stretch of territories known severally to would-be colonizers and commercial exploiters as Canada, Acadia/Nova Scotia, and northern New England. There is good reason to believe too that Phips's personal ambitions ran much more in this direction than towards an extended career as governor. The difficulty, however, lay in the question of how control could be asserted over large areas that lacked any English settlement or - in the case of northern New England - where small English communities were overshadowed by the reality of the superior military power of the Wabanaki. The St Lawrence valley, with its substantial French population and well-defended centres at Quebec and Montreal, presented a different problem. It was vulnerable, if at all, only to a powerful military and naval assault, the mounting of which remained for Phips a cherished but unfulfilled ambition. The governor's favoured strategy for the northeastern coastal territories, however, was one of accommodation with the established non-English peoples, both Acadian and aboriginal. Phips's attempts to fashion an English sphere of influence and commercial activity out of the unpromising state of English military weakness and lack of settlement that characterized northern New England and Acadia/Nova Scotia during the early 16908 had important implications. Paradoxes arose that stemmed not only from the inherent difficulties of cross-cultural interaction but also from the constraints imposed on the English side by its conduct of negotiations using terminologies of allegiance and subjection that preserved the fiction of English imperial control. More generally, in the context of increased London-based merchant interest in the expansion of North American trade, the colony of Massachusetts Bay, as defined in 1691, provides an important illustration of the difficulties that resulted when areas of potential commercial exploitation were far removed from areas of English settlement, and of the inadequacy of the formal hierarchies of empire to encompass the relationships that emerged with non-English peoples. A full understanding of the complex processes of change that were occurring in northeastern North America as the turn of the eighteenth century approached can be attained only by attaching central importance - as Phips did - to events in the large northeastern reaches of the territory defined in the Massachusetts charter of 1691, rather than


Emerson W. Baker and John G. Reid

by concentrating exclusively on the small southeastern corner that happened to contain the largest English settlements.*' Sir William Phips's personal familiarity with the northeastern coastlines of New England was lifelong. Born and raised on a farmstead overlooking the Sheepscot River, Phips was the son of a fur trader who was also the only known English gunsmith on the Wabanaki coast during the middle decades of the seventeenth century. The young William Phips grew up with the company of the Wabanaki who were his close neighbours and the trading partners of his father. His contemporary and biographer, Cotton Mather, remarked in 'Pietas in Patriam' that 'his Birth and Youth in the East, had rendred him well known unto the Indians there: he had Hunted and Fished many a weary Day in his Childhood with them' (Mather [1702] 1Q77, 337). To be sure, the relations of Phips and his family with the Wabanaki did not remain untroubled. In August 1676, during the Wabanaki-English conflict that corresponded to King Philip's War in southern New England, the twenty-five-year-old Phips fled hastily to Boston with a group of relatives and neighbours when threatened by a Wabanaki raid. He never again took up permanent residence in the region, although he was a frequent visitor to it while governor. The young Phips was also undoubtedly well aware of the French presence in Acadia. French military and trading activities at Pentagoet were geographically separated from Phips's home only by a short coastal voyage (Faulkner and Faulkner 1987, 25-9). Also, Phips had been twenty years of age when a French military expedition had received a surprisingly warm welcome in the Pemaquid-Kennebec settlements. The English colonists, the French commander reported, had shown 'visible joy to see Pentagouet and its territory in the hands of the King [of France].'7 These impressions notwithstanding, the episode had no substantive consequences affecting the rival English and French claims to the territory between the Penobscot and Kennebec Rivers. Yet the colonists' friendly greetings, with Phips either a participant or close enough to be fully and intimately aware of what had taken place, demonstrated that unusual accommodations were not only possible but even necessary at times, for the colonial residents of a region where English and French claims rivalled one another but where the actual grip of either power on the territory was feeble and depended ultimately on Aboriginal sufferance. The abandonment of a strategy of accommodation at key points in 1675 and 1676 - in the form of English attempts to disarm the Wabanaki in the Kennebec-Penobscot region -was a crucial element in precipitat-

Sir William Phips and the Decentring of Empire 291

ing the hostilities that resulted in the expulsion of Phips and his family. These Indianes in these parts did never Apeare dissatisfied untill their Armes wear Taken Away,' wrote the Pemaquid fur trader Thomas Gardner to Governor John Leverett in September 1675, adding that 'I do not find by Any thing I Can discerne that the Indianes East of us ar in the least our Ennimies' (Maine Historical Soc. 1869-1916, 6: 92; Baker 1986, 184-200). In a region where the balance of coexistence was always delicate and trust always fragile, neglect of the need for intercultural relationships to be nourished was often all that was required to prompt a phase of hostility. To be sure, Sir William Phips's next interaction with the non-English peoples of the northeast initially showed no overt sign of conciliation. During the late 16805, Phips had gained wealth and a knighthood through his persistent and ultimately successful effort to find and salvage the cargo of a sunken Spanish treasure galleon off the coast of Hispianola. He had returned to New England shortly after the English Revolution of 1688, after a prolonged absence in England and the Caribbean that had been broken since 1683 only by two short sojourns in Boston. Cultivated by both Increase and Cotton Mather, Phips eventually made a profession of faith that led to his admission on 23 March 1690 to membership of the younger Mather's North Church in Boston (Mather [1702] 1977, 295-8). On the previous day, he had accepted the command of a seaborne expedition against Acadia, precipitated not only by the military setbacks encountered by the English at the hands of the Wabanaki, with suspected French encouragement from Port-Royal, but also by the news of successful French and Aboriginal raids on Schenectady, New York, and Salmon Falls, New Hampshire. Phips's fleet of seven vessels proceeded quickly to Port-Royal. There, Phips persuaded a demoralized governor, Louis-Alexandre Des Friches de Meneval, to surrender on terms that were promptly broken by English plundering of the Acadian settlement and its church.8 Notwithstanding the failure of Phips's next expedition - to Quebec later in 1690 - the French imperial perspective would henceforward cast him as a dangerous and vindictive foe. Meneval's complaints that Phips had personally harassed him, even while Meneval was imprisoned in New England, were relayed to England with a formal French protest and were sufficient to produce a mild but distinct reprimand at the level of the cabinet council: 'Sir William Phips to be spoke with about his usage of the Governor of Port-royal.' Following Phips's arrival in New England as governor in 1692, Governor Frontenac of New France commented

292 Emerson W. Baker and John G. Reid that 'Phipps still intends to bend his efforts to come and visit us again next year, which obliges me to take all precautions I can to give him a good reception.'9 Yet, at Port-Royal in 1690, Phips left the custody of the English claim to Nova Scotia in the hands of a council of Acadian inhabitants. The president of the Acadian council was to be Charles La Tourasse, formerly a sergeant in the French garrison. Although La Tourasse was described in his oath of office as appointed only by Phips and his advisors, the five councillors were purportedly 'chosen by the Inhabitants of port-Royal, L'Accadie or Nova-scotia ..., which choice is approved by the Honourable Sr. William Phipps Knight..., with the advice of his Council.' An oath of allegiance was administered to an unspecified number of the residents of Port-Royal, and Phips made a parting gift to the president and council of a list of instructions that enjoined them to report to the Massachusetts governor 'from time to time how Matters are with you."0 The arrangement suffered an early setback, however, when a new French commandant, Joseph Robinau de Villebon, removed the French military headquarters to Fort Naxouat, in the valley of the St John River, and there established a powerful centre of coordination between Native and French military efforts against New England. The president of Phips's Acadian council then quickly put himself under Villebon's orders.'l Phips encountered a further setback, as well as vociferous criticism, when he led the expensive and disastrous attempt on Canada later in 1690. He defended himself effectively in London, however, and gained powerful support. Crucial to this process were two of the Massachusetts agents in England, Increase Mather and Sir Henry Ashurst. Mather could offer his extensive network of relationships with dissenting clergy and dissenting merchants in London and elsewhere, while Ashurst - a Whig member of Parliament and a London alderman of long standing was the leading member of London's pre-eminent Presbyterian merchant family. The promise of new North American trade was central to their support of Ashurst and other City merchants.12 Thus Increase Mather's urging, in a pamphlet drafted in late March 1691 - at Ashurst's house and with Phips's participation - that a second attempt should be mounted on Canada: 'His Majesties Subjects,' he reminded his readers in language that associated economic advantage with direct imperial control, 'have lately reduced the French in Acady unto Obedience to the Crown of England: If the like should be done in Canada, that would be worth Millions to the English Crown and Nation'

Sir William Phips and the Decentring of Empire


(Andros Tracts 1868-74, 2: 223-30). Similarly, on 18 April 1691, a petition bearing the signatures of seventy-seven English merchants was personally presented to William III by Mather. The petition supported the restoration of New England's charter rights - lost in 1684, but now under renewed discussion following the Revolution of 1688 - and linked this issue with the mounting of a new assault on Canada, 'thereby to enlarge your Majesties Dominions to the Great Advantage of the Crowne and English Nation."3 Brief as the petition was in its contents, it represented a tour de force because of the signatures it carried. Among them were included merchant families that were leading participants in a wide range of international trading networks. Close family contacts of Ashurst - his brother Sir William, a leading trader in Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean, and his brother-in-law, the prominent Virginia trader Sir Thomas Lane - joined in the petition with others such as the Levant merchant Sir Humphrey Edwin and the future governor of the Bank of England Sir Gilbert Heathcote. Each of those four was a future lord mayor of London. In all, the petition represented a formidable show of strength by a number of London's foremost Whig and Dissenting merchants at a time when their increasing role as public creditors was adding political to commercial potency (De Krey 1985; Olson 1992, 28; M. Hall 1988, 213; Dickson 1967, ch. 1-3). The momentum created by this petition carried Phips not only through a crucial hearing of the Lords of Trade three days after its presentation, but ultimately - again with the assistance of Ashurst and Mather - to appointment as the first governor of Massachusetts under the new charter of 1691. As well, during the summer and autumn of 1691, Phips proposed a series of commercial schemes for the exploitation of mineral, timber, and other resources within the territories from the Piscataqua River east to Nova Scotia that were included within the boundaries of Massachusetts.14 The difficulty that became evident when he arrived in Boston as governor in May 1692 was that there was no significant English presence in any of these areas. Instead, northeast of the town of Wells, in the old province of Maine, they were firmly controlled by Native inhabitants and were also subject to French influences radiating outwards from Villebon's headquarters. From 1692 until the time of Phips's death in 1695, through no unwillingness on the part of the governor, direct attacks were never mounted on either Canada or Fort Naxouat. With respect to Canada, imperial assistance was made available only for a planned naval assault in 1693,

294 Emerson W. Baker andjohn G. Reid which was forestalled by a combination of the setbacks the fleet had already experienced at the hands of the French in the Caribbean and the outbreak of epidemic disease among the crews. Naxouat was well defended and virtually inaccessible except by a difficult ascent of the St John valley. Instead, New England's main military efforts were devoted until the summer of 1693 to waging a raiding war against the Wabanaki and to Phips's project for the building of Fort William Henry, a new and powerful fort at Pemaquid. In the meantime, Phips sought to reanimate the relationship with the Acadian inhabitants that he had sought to establish in 1690. In a report to London in early October 1692, he asserted that 'I have caused the inhabitants of Port-Royal to renew their oath of allegiance to their Majesties.'15 The slim basis for this statement was apparently an ambivalent conversation between Port-Royal inhabitants and an English naval captain, and yet in the area of trade it conformed with the statements of at least some Acadians (Villebon 1934, 40-1). As early as May 1691, Abraham Boudrot and Jean Martel had petitioned the Massachusetts council for the freedom of trade promised by Phips in 1690, and owed to them, they believed, by 'this place [Massachusetts], who ought to be their protectors.' Intermittent as formal communications were between Acadians and New England during the ensuing years, claims based on Phips's undertakings persisted even after his death. In late 1696, for example, a Port-Royal cooper and merchant detained in Salem from sailing in a new vessel he had built there, sought relief on the ground of his oath to the English Crown. 'According to the promise made by Sir William Phips to the Inhabitants of Port-Royal,' Pierre Lanoue petitioned Massachusetts authorities that 'he may have the priviledge of one of his said Majestys Subjects."() Phips also claimed to have gained for the English Crown the allegiance of another of the non-English peoples of the northeastern reaches of the Massachusetts colony as defined in 1691. The establishment of the new Fort William Henry at Pemaquid, he reported to London in early September 1693, had combined with the success of English raiding warfare to prompt the Wabanaki to make peace in a treaty concluded at Pemaquid on 11 August 1693 and signed by thirteen of the leading sachems. Two who would further develop their relationship with Phips were Madockawando, of the Penobscot, and Egeremet, of the Kennebec. The terms set down were unprecedented in WabanakiEnglish relations, promising 'hearty subjection and obedience unto the Crown of England' on behalf of'all the Indians belonging unto the sev-

Sir William Phips and the Decentring of Empire 295

eral rivers aforesaid [Penobscot, Kennebec, Androscoggin, Saco], and of all other Indians ... from Merrimack River unto the most Easterly bounds of [Massachusetts]."7 The Wabanaki treaty also had commercial implications, which Phips tried unsuccessfully to turn to personal account by involving the plantations secretary, William Blathwayt, in a fur-trading enterprise.'8 The governor's personal acquisitiveness, and its bearing on matters of allegiance and imperial consolidation, was demonstrated anew in the spring of 1694. During one of his frequent sojourns at Pemaquid, he purchased a large tract of land from Madockawando, consisting principally of thousands of acres of the St George River valley. The deed was witnessed by Egeremet and by a cousin of Madockawando, Wenemoet, and was accompanied by another the next day by which Sylvanus Davis - a political associate of Phips - bought a nearby tract. The two deeds, chronologically, represented an exception to the overwhelming concentration of Wabanaki-English land transactions from the late 16408 to the mid16705; they were made final in a meeting held between Phips, Madockawando, Egeremet, and others on board an English warship anchored in Pemaquid harbour. The French officer Claude-Sebastien de Villieu, on the basis of what he had been told by a Wabanaki observer, reported that 'the two Indians had come out, and going to the side of the vessel, had thrown their hatchets into the sea, in order, so they said, to make it impossible for them or their descendants to recover them again. Afterwards, the Governor gave them his hand in token of friendship, and they drank one another's health, and went into the saloon where they had supper."0 Ironically, however, the land transactions of 1694 provided the key to the ignition of factional disputes among the Wabanaki that quickly undermined the 1693 treaty. For several months, a group led by the Penobscot sachem Taxous had been making little headway in Frenchassisted efforts to induce other Wabanaki to break the peace. The news of the land sales had what Villieu described as 'a wonderful effect,' in that Madockawando and Egeremet had allowed the appearance - and possibly the substance - of self-interest to taint their actions, in contrast with the traditionally collective process for authorization of land transactions by the sachems. Within three weeks, enough Penobscot warriors had joined Taxous to induce Madockawando himself to agree to create consensus by participating in raids on English settlements in the Piscataqua region. Kennebec forces also took part, and the hostilities, for the time being, brought an end to any prospect of stable Wabanaki-English

296 Emerson W. Baker and John G. Reid

accommodation.20 The lieutenant-governor of New Hampshire, John Usher - a long-standing political opponent of Phips, but also now hardpressed by the Wabanaki offensive - was quick to condemn the 1693 treaty as 'the Notion of a peice, only to Carry on an Indian Trade.'21 The reality was more complex. In the cross-cultural context of Wabanaki-English negotiations - notably at a time, as in 1693, when both sides had good reason to seek an end to a costly and damaging conflict - matters such as peace and trade could readily be discussed. Trade stability and favourable prices had obvious attractions for Wabanaki leaders who had had too much experience of abusive and disorderly New England traders on their coast. Within months of the treaty, Massachusetts legislation had outlawed such trade abuses, and, according to a French report, the Wabanaki were being offered at Pemaquid 'all the merchandise they required at the low prices current in Boston.'22 More abstract questions such as sovereignty, submission, and allegiance, however, were much more liable to be understood differently by the two sides. Thus, when Phips took unorthodox steps towards land acquisition in the following year, Wabanaki sensibilities and priorities were quickly reasserted as taking precedence over the agreement that Phips had misleadingly characterized as an acceptance of allegiance. What had taken place in reality was a decentring of imperial influence. A relationship had been negotiated, one that was essential for the maintenance of an English sphere of activity in Wabanaki territory, but it remained subject to decisive repudiation if its consequences were deemed unacceptable by a sufficiently powerful body of Wabanaki opinion. There were complexities too in the Acadian-New England relationship, even as it was manifested in Phips's contacts with Abraham Boudrot. On 4 December 1692, Villebon recorded in his journal that Boudrot, 'in whom I have great confidence,' had volunteered that 'if I would permit him to go to Boston under the pretext of trading, he would, by the end of March at latest, bring me reliable news of what was going on' (Villebon 1934, 44-5). Boudrot's motives are impossible to evaluate fully. The trading that he portrayed to Villebon as a pretext was no doubt for him, in view of his earlier commercial activities, at least partly an end in itself. Nevertheless, he was a productive spy. Although his first information-gathering voyage took longer than expected, he was able to report to Villebon on 3 June 1693 not only on Boston but also on the newly completed Fort William Henry, which he had visited apparently in the company of Phips (Villebon 1934, 47).

Sir William Phips and the Decentring of Empire 297

In the following year, Villebon reported to France on the unrest being caused in Massachusetts by the burdens of war taxation. 'I obtained information' the commandant noted - not naming his informant, but describing him in the terms he habitually applied to Boudrot - 'from a settler of Port-Royal whom 1 had sent to Boston, and who returned a month ago; he had made a pretence of attaching himself to Sir William Phips so that he might more easily become acquainted with his views.'a;< For all that, Phips himself took some pride in his Acadian sources of information, as on the occasion in April 1693 that he reported to the Lords of Trade on the departure of two French naval vessels for France, 'as I am informed from Port-Royal.' In the period immediately after Phips's governorship - he died in office in early 1695 - regular intelligence was being provided to New England on French shipping by Charles Melanson, whose brother Peter was by this time Villebon's 'captain of the coast.' To add to the complexities of the situation, Melanson - who was Boudrot's father-in-law - promised in one letter of early 1696 to the Massachusetts lieutenant-governor, William Stoughton, that 'if I doe know any news more I shall informe your honneur by abraham boudrot and my brother in law for they hope to goe to Boston this spring with two [trading] vessells.'24 Yet, even accepting that information travelled in both directions and sometimes by the same carriers, Boudrot's reports to Villebon were exceptionally damaging to Phips's aspirations for the northeastern portions of greater Massachusetts. Following a second visit by Boudrot to Fort William Henry in 1694, Villebon sent to France a detailed plan for the seizure of the fort, based not on a direct seaborne assault but on the dispatch of land forces along a wagon trail that joined the fort with a point on the harbour some two miles distant. This approach was quickly approved by Versailles, and it proved its value in August 1696, when the fort - boastfully described by Phips in 1693 as 'Sufficient to resist all the Indians in america' - capitulated to a French and Wabanaki force after a short siege. The exact extent to which this English disaster was precipitated by Boudrot's intelligence is impossible to estimate. The fort had also been reconnoitred by a French officer 'deguise en Sauvage,' and in any case had its own faults of design and construction. Nevertheless, the value attached by Villebon to Boudrot's observations was self-evident in his plan of attack.-'5 The ultimate significance of Boudrot's successful espionage was not that it represented any archetypical example of an Acadian response to the blandishments of a governor such as Phips. Acadian responses to English imperial thrusts over the years had been

298 Emerson W. Baker and John G. Reid

too varied and complex for that. Rather, the necessity for Phips to make accommodations with Acadian economic and political leaders - who faced pressures also from French imperial officials, and had experience in manoeuvring among ambiguities - illustrated the limitations on the English sphere of activity. The fall of Pemaquid was a visible setback, but the phenomenon from which Boudrot's role arose was the decentring effect on English imperial influence that stemmed from the independent goals and activities of Acadians on whom Phips necessarily depended for commercial and strategic reasons. By the summer of the year after Phips's death, therefore, the persistence of trading contacts between the Acadians and New England could not obscure the reality that allegiance had proved to be an easier concept to put down on paper than to induce in the lived experience of non-English peoples. Phips's defence in 1693 of the Englishness of Abraham Boudrot suggested a naivety of approach, even though in all likelihood Boudrot remained the only contemporary fully able to savour its irony. The renewal of hostilities with the Wabanaki in 1694 led to a striking acknowledgment of Native military power by Phips's successor, the Earl of Bellomont, who reported ruefully to London in 1700 that anygeneral alliance of northeastern Aboriginal peoples would be sufficient 'in a short time to drive us quite out of this Continent.' 20 It also signalled the failure of Phips's plans for greater Massachusetts, plans that were being further undermined by the espionage activities of Boudrot, and would be conclusively and conspicuously ruined after the governor's death by the fall of Fort William Henry. In a wider imperial context, Phips's failure was not as clear-cut, either in straightforward military terms or in terms of the geopolitical realities facing English colonial activity. The military question was simple enough: Phips never ceased to urge the conquest of Canada, not only as being 'worth Millions to the Englishe Nation' but also as the sole ultimate source of strategic security for Massachusetts.27 Phips was aware that arrangements made with either Acadians or Wabanaki had an inherent element of instability as long as imperial rivalries persisted between Canada and New England. Thus, the failure of those arrangements must be understood in the context that they were intended to be followed by a further military thrust, which did not materialize. More generally, Sir William Phips grappled during the early 16905 with problems that were to become increasingly acute for British imperialism during the eighteenth century. The harnessing together of commercial and strategic objectives, which became so evident following the

Sir William Phips and the Decentring of Empire


Revolution of 1689 and of which the support of Phips and Mather by leading City merchants in 1691 was an early indication, implied that English (then British) hegemony would be asserted over large areas of North America, and eventually over large areas elsewhere in the world, where there was little if any British settlement. The financial revolution that created both the 'military-Fiscal state' defined by John Brewer and the connections between landed and monied interests embodied in the 'gentlemanly capitalism' of P.J. Cain and A.G. Hopkins, was in its early days during Phips's lifetime (Brewer 1989, 137-54; Cain and Hopkins 1993, 22-9, 58-64) -28 Even so, the expanding roles of the state and of the monied interests that were the sources of public credit were already perceptible. Crucially lacking, however, were the tools to resolve the paradoxes that could arise where imperial expansion confronted the well-entrenched positions of non-English peoples, whether Aboriginal or colonial. English imperialism in the Americas had centred largely on the establishment of colonies of settlement. In such contexts, interactions with Aboriginal inhabitants were relatively straightforward, involving the definition of territories where English domination was established by force of numbers. Peripheral areas of more marginal settlement existed, as the province of Maine had been throughout much of the seventeenth century, but English experience in the Americas did not encompass the variety of informal arrangements with Aboriginal peoples that was accommodated under what W.J. Eccles has described as 'the 'Janusian" - two-faced - attitude of the French towards the Indians at that time: tell Europeans - friends or foes - one thing, and the Indians something quite different, or nothing at all' (Eccles 1984, 485; see also White 1991). In seeking to extract expressions of allegiance from non-English inhabitants, therefore, Phips worked with the tools that he had. Yet Massachusetts under the charter of 1691 was a colony of greater complexity than historians have normally recognized. While it retained certain characteristics of a colony of settlement, notably in the areas that immediately surrounded Massachusetts Bay itself, it was geographically dominated by territories in which English hegemony had yet to be convincingly asserted. Demands for allegiance, in those circumstances, might be greeted without animosity - though with different cultural perceptions - by Acadians or Wabanaki who were willing to enter into a relationship, commercial or otherwise, with New England. Such relationships, however, required what was for imperial purposes a dangerous level of dependence on non-English peoples and individuals.

3OO Emerson W. Baker and John G. Reid

Purported expressions of allegiance were eminently reportable to London, either to imperial officials or to merchants such as Ashurst and his cohorts, who sought a hospitable environment for exploitation of natural resources. To pretend that they denoted a submissive spirit was tempting but ultimately unsustainable. At one level, this was the trap into which Phips fell, and the fatal flaw in his approach to the territories of northern New England and Acadia/Nova Scotia that were so crucial to his personal and imperial aspirations. At another level, Phips did at least recognize the need for negotiated solutions. To an extent unreported to London, the purported expressions of allegiance disguised the assumption of reciprocal obligations that were more nuanced, more balanced, more personal - and more delicate - in nature. These linkages are glimpsed not so much in formal documentation as in the fragmentary evidence of personal exchanges: in Phips on the deck of a naval frigate in a companionable group with Madockawando and Egeremet, in the governor's visceral defence of Boudrot and Faneuil. When Phips asserted the Englishness of Abraham Boudrot, he did not know that Boudrot had already reported to Villebon on the weaknesses of Fort William Henry and would do so again. In that sense, Phips was deceived and outwitted. On the other hand, in recognizing that a widespread English sphere of influence in northeastern North America could be fashioned - at least for the time being - only through a negotiated relationship with 'English men' of the kind Phips supposed Boudrot to be, he was not seriously mistaken. If every attempt at a commercial or strategic advance for English interests implied a further decentring of empire, this was a paradox that Phips's personal background and mercantile associations enabled him to live with comfortably enough. It formed, however, an ambiguous legacy to succeeding colonial governors and to the Acadian and Wabanaki leaders of later generations. NOTES 1 Great Britain, Public Record Office (hereafter PRO), CO5/858, no. 42(1), 12-13, Deposition of William Hill and Henry Francklyn, 10 September 1694. 2 This dispute is fully explored in Baker and Reid 1998, 223-31. 3 'List of Persons of the French nation admitted into the Colony by the Governor and Councill,' l February 1691, cited in Drake 1856, 536n; and Bosher 1995. However, for evidence of concern that French spies might have been

Sir William Phips and the Decentring of Empire 301 concealed among Huguenot refugees, see also Order, 25 December 1691, Massachusetts Archives (hereafter MA), General Court Records, 6, 1689-98, 209-10. 4 PRO, €05/858, No. 42 (i), 12-13, Deposition of William Hill and Henry Francklyn, 1O September 1694; see also Daigle 1976; Arsenault 1978, 2: 442. 5 PRO, CO5/855, No. 109, 9, Journal of the Proceedings in the Late Expedition to Port-Royal, 1690; PRO, CO5/9O5, 298-352, Charter of Massachusetts Bay, 7 October 1691; Petition of Jean Martel and Abraham Boudrot, 6 May 1691, MA, vol. 37, 23. 6 In the arguments that follow, there are a number of works to which we owe more than will necessarily be indicated by specific citations. They include: Brewer 1989; Cain and Hopkins 1993; Daigle 1975; Dickson 1967; Greene 1994; R.Johnson 1991; Olson 1992; Stone 1994. We build too on our own earlier studies: Baker 1986, and Reid 1981. 7 France, Archives des colonies (hereafter AC), Ci lA, 3, 187-8, Talon to Jean-Baptiste Colbert, ll November 1671; see also Reid 1983. 8 PRO, CO5/855, No. 109, 3-6, 15, Journal of the Proceedings in the Late Expedition, 1690. 9 Great Britain, Historical Manuscripts Commission, Report on the Manuscripts of Allan George Finch, Esq., 3: 389, Cabinet Council Minutes, 30 April 1691; Frontenac to Minister of Marine, 15 September 1692, AC, Cl lA, 12, f. 27. 10 PRO, CO5/855, No. log, (i, 11-12, 14-15, Journal of the Proceedings in the Late Expedition. 11 See Villebon to Chevry, [ 1690], in Villebon 1934, 24; and Villebon, Journal of Acadia,' December 1692 (44-5). 12 On Mather's network, see Cressy 1987, 272-4; M. Hall 1988, 212-21; Olson 1992, 45, 49. On the Ashursts, see De Krey 1985, 89-90. 13 Petition of Several Merchants, [18 April 1691], MA, 37, 7. 14 PRO, SP44/235, 170, Proceedings on the Petition of Sir William Phips et al, 13 August 1691; PRO, 005/856, No. 183, Petition of New England Agents, 27 August 1691; PRO, 00391/7, 42, Journal of Lords of Trade, 2 September 1691; PRO, COs/856, No. 184; Phips to Lords of Trade, [2 September 1691]; PRO, 005/905, 298-352, Charter of Massachusetts, 7 October 1691. 15 Williamsburg, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library, William Blathwayt Papers (hereafter CWBP), Vol. 5, Folder l, Phips to William Blathwayt, 12 October 1692. 16 Villebon 1934, 40-1; Petition of Jean Martel and Abraham Boudrot, 6 May 1691, MA, 37, 23; Petition of Pierre Lanoue, [i December 1696], MA, 2, 582. 17 PRO, 005/751, No. 37 (i), Submission and Agreements of the Eastern Indians, 11 August 1693; PRO, 005/751, No. 37 (iv), Articles Signed by Sir

302 Emerson W. Baker and John G. Reid William Phips to the Eastern Indians, ll August 1693; PRO, 005/751, No. 37, Phips to the Earl of Nottingham, 11 September 1693. 18 CWBP, Vol. 5, Folder l, Phips to Blathwayt, ll September, 3 October 1693; PRO, 005/857, No. 95, Petition of Sir William Phips, [3 October 1693]. 19 Account of a Journey Made by Monsieur de Villieu, 8 June 1694, in Villebon 1934, 62; Maine Historical Society (1887-1910), 10: 237. 20 Journal of Villieu, June 1694, in Villebon 1934, 60-3; on the more normal Wabanaki processes for land sales, see Baker 1989, 252-3. 21 PRO, CO5/924, No. 40 (i), John Usher to William Stoughton, 28 July 1694. 22 An Act for Giving Necessary Supplies to the Eastern Indians, and for Regulating of Trade with them, Massachusetts [1692-9] 1978, 173-4; Villebon to Pontchartrain, 2O August 1694, in Villebon 1934, 67. On the earlier incidents of disorderly trade, see Baker 1986, 136, 144-5, 184-5. 23 Villebon 1934, 72; for evidence of Boudrot's continued gathering of information in Boston after Phips's departure and death, see Villebon 1934, 77. 24 Phips to Lords of Trade, 3 April 1693, PRO, CO5/857, No. 46; Villebon 1934, 46; Charles Melanson to [William Stoughton], 5 February 1696, MA, 2, 587-8; Arsenault 1978, 2: 687; Daigle 1975, 139-50. It is not clear which of his wife's three brothers is referred to by Melanson; see Arsenault 1978, 2: 524-5. 25 Villebon 1934, 67-71; AC, CuD, 2, 22O, Projet pour I'Entreprise de Peincuit, 1694; AC, B, 17, 123-31, Minister to Villebon, 16 April 1695; PRO, 005/751, No. 37, Phips to Nottingham, 11 September 1693; Williams 1987, 20-1. 26 PRO, CO5/861, No. 31, Bellomont to Lords of Trade, 20 April 1700. 27 CWBP, Vol. 5, Folder i, Phips to Blathwayt, 12 October 1692. 28 The term 'financial revolution' is owed, of course, to Dickson, 1967.

PARTY Afterword

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Amerindians and the Horizon of Modernity Denys Delage and Jean-Philippe Warren

The essays gathered in this volume demonstrate that the complex history of the encounter between the Amerindian peoples and the European nations cannot be reduced to two or three formulas, in the way still attempted not so long ago in textbooks on Canadian history. This is why the achievement of the essays nevertheless calls for caution when it comes time to draw conclusions, to develop certain lines of argument, or to account for the reflections they generate. No afterword can be exhaustive, but as sociologists we can at least attempt an analysis of the global significance of these studies. In doing so, we willingly expose ourselves to the critique of historians who are apprehensive about grand generalizations. Instead of exploiting the customary ways of thinking about the Renaissance, we have chosen to emphasize those general traits and tendencies of European and indigenous societies that were in opposition and to illuminate the principal paradigms necessary for the understanding of that centuries-long difference. We follow, in this regard, the tradition of Max Weber, who constructed an idealized concept of the 'Protestant ethic,' beyond all the contingencies of the emergence of specific protestantisms, or that of Marcel Mauss, writing on the Gift, a concept that transcends the infinite number of actual forms of exchange. It is important to characterize as broadly as possible what - beginning with the Renaissance - has distinguished western Europe from the rest of the world. Similarly, it is just as important to identify the Renaissance's 'logic' - its basic ethos, core tenets, central thrust, defining features, and its world historical significance - apart from the lengthy processes and conditions of its emer*Translated by Genevieve Zubrzycki.

306 Denys Delage and Jean-Philippe Warren

gence. If the Renaissance presented a rupture in the history of humanity, the nature of this break must be specified, since it still confronts us today with some of the most fundamental debates in the humanities. Here we can begin to list the issues and formulate the questions most central to a decentring of the Renaissance. First is the issue of cultural relativism and the concept of 'progress.' Does the Renaissance mark a step forward for humanity, like the invention of writing or of iron-work? Does answering this question in the affirmative contradict the fundamentalist form of cultural relativism, a relativism that would obscure the unavoidable converging movement of human societies? Second, there is the issue of identity, and its relationship to modernity, for the indigenous peoples of past and present. Is the act of adopting modernity a betrayal of one's culture? Third, beyond the texture of detail that characterizes historical writing, is it important to evaluate, as responsible citizens, the legacy of the past? What do we reject, and what do we accept and adopt, from a tradition of conquest and interaction, of manipulation and understanding, that characterizes the shock of encounter for so-called 'traditional' and 'modern' societies? The Renaissance has not only left us brilliantly sculpted marbles and paintings in which the purity of forms is married with a sumptuous style; it also established a civilizing process to which the whole of humanity is still subjected, dragged along in a movement of global questioning punctuated over five centuries by revolutions in rapid succession. The Renaissance movement appeared in Northern Italy among princes, thinkers, merchants, and artists, and spread spatially throughout western Europe and socially to other classes before eventually reaching America and the rest of the world. The destiny of the West was played out on the ships of explorers such as Magellan or with the horses of conquistadores such as Cortez. The Renaissance brought about, sometimes in spite of itself, although most of the time consciously, the fatal combustion of the societies it was reaching. The conquest of the Americas was, to a large extent, the result of technical advances such as gunpowder and sophisticated weapons - no one today would deny this fact, given the enormity and the barbarity of the massacres that accompanied it. But if the Renaissance had been that alone, it would not be of great interest, just as it is not worth lingering over the descent of the nomadic Huns on the Roman Empire and the ruins these population movements created at the time. The encounter of the Old and New Worlds raises an important question, which requires the gathering of materials in order to answer it, since this encounter was in fact that of

Amerindians and the Horizon of Modernity 307

two worlds, and not that of two halves of the same world, or of three or four different worlds. This encounter is thus different from the violent confrontation of two Australian tribes or from that of two sixteenthcentury European 'nations.' During the age of the great discoveries and of the formation of colonial empires, Europe's encounter with Africa, Asia, and America was that of a modern world, emerging from the Renaissance, with worlds obviously extremely different from each other but nevertheless all pre-Renaissance and premodern. These worlds have been referred to by anthropologists and sociologists in various ways that reflect the same reality, whether Claude Levi-Strauss's famous distinction between cold and hot societies (Charbonnier [1961] 1969, 37-48) or, closer in time, Michel Freitag's distinction between societies with 'culture-symbolic' and 'politico-institutional' modes of reproduction (Freitag 1986). Traditionally, the Middle Ages appears to us in the form of a society cemented by deeply rooted traditions (familial, professional, religious, feudal) and kept together by a cosmological explanation of the world in which the terrestrial order emulates the celestial order, the carrier of all knowledge of beings and of things. Doubt is frowned upon, and the answers to conflicts and tensions are found in the sacred books. Truth about the world is revealed in the Bible, with the consequence - surprising from our modern perspective - that all commentary on humankind and nature takes place within the confines of sacred discourse. That a rationalist tradition existed in parallel, reaching back into the Greek classics, should not lead us to downplay the omnipresence and omnipotence of the theological universe. Born of divine irradiation, man, like all beings, was part of a universe of heavenly forces. The mystic Hildegard of Bingen had clearly depicted the celestial hierarchy by drawing a series of concentrical circles with man at the centre, followed by the earth, then around it the seven heavens and lastly the integrative and subsuming figure of God. The Renaissance broke with the medieval order and destroyed its frameworks; the cosmos became a mute and insignificant nature that man could transform into an instrument of his power (Bloch [1977] 1994, 6-9). Without clearly breaking with theology or the concept of God, the Renaissance thus brought us closer to humankind, whose existence would now be conceived as historical - that is, inscribed in time, in a specific context, and in flux, but also in terms of the consequences of its own actions. The notions of liberty and free will, as well as that of humanity's capacity to exercise creative power over nature, upon the

308 Denys Delage and Jean-Philippe Warren

world, thus emerged. With the Renaissance, everything becomes possible (Koyre 1973, 12). From then on, it was possible to conceive that besides a world of mystery, in which human knowledge is constrained by insurmountable limits, there exists another one without curbs or constraints, where intellectual activity opens the door to concrete knowledge of the world. Medieval unity is dissolved in a decentring movement, and we observe revealing signs of this dissolution in the various spheres of human activity (Cassirer [1927] 1983, 11-103). In painting, for example, a transformation becomes obvious with the development of perspective, which structures the pictorial space from the point of view of the spectator - that is, from the subject's point of view. This decentring is also evident in the political, social, religious, cosmological, and geographical spheres, in a series of significant fragmentations. We observe political fragmentation with the abandonment of the old imperial dream of a pan-European unity; the fragmentation of a coherent social universe with the rise of the bourgeoisie and the progressive dismantling of a society divided in three orders, peasants, lords, and priests; the fragmentation of religious unity with the dazzling beginnings of the Reformation and the subsequent proliferation of 'heretical,' dissident, and heterodox sects; and the fragmentation of cosmological unity with Copernicus's heliocentrism - the idea of a centre itself loses its meaning, since even the sun is part of a galactic immensity imagined without end or frontiers. Lastly, there is a geographical fragmentation, with the failure of the old spatial representation of the world with Europe at its centre and at the periphery monsters, dragons, and barbarous peoples. Historians have minutely detailed the process of these great fragmentations that decentre, each in its own way, the old medieval unity. But this movement has extended even into our times: after the Darwinian revolution (humankind is no longer the centre of creation), Freud's psychoanalytic revolution brought about yet another decentring, at the individual level (conscience is no longer the centre of the subject). But in spite of this general movement of decentring, there exists a yet more radical and more definitive ^centring that the Renaissance aspires to create. The diversity and variety of new forms are conceived as the development of a unique creative force. The eighteenth century referred to this force as 'Reason' (Cassirer [1932] 1970, 41). Thus in a way, the Renaissance introduces modernity by making conceivable a society where culture and institutions could be redefined according to the unwavering and indisputable authority of reason instead of accord-

Amerindians and the Horizon of Modernity 309

ing to the contingent and arbitrary norms inherited by tradition. Although Pascal was sceptical of the power of such a transformation, on the whole thinkers and politicians were not worried by a project that allowed them to build a better society on the ruins of an old world through a 'truer' - that is, objective - knowledge of the world. Now, what is specific to reason is that it makes explicit the constructed character of culture by making each thing an object of investigation and of analysis. So-called archaic societies certainly know culture's doublesidedness - through myth, for example - but in contrast to modern societies, they receive culture as a fact of eternity that transcends the limits of knowledge. Reason, however, since it is constitutive of human nature, allows man to objectivize himself; in other words, it allows the subject of reason to become-to himself-an object (Dumont 1968). Man can thus become an object to himself in two intimately linked ways, which represent, mutatis mutandis, the two faces of modernity. When humanity, culture, and modernity become objects of comprehension, we observe the blossoming of natural sciences with Galileo and Newton, and of philosophy and of law with, among others, Hobbes, Montesquieu, and Rousseau, who initiate a lineage of thinkers elevating liberty, equality, and fraternity above old tyrannies of class and race. Yet at the same time man, culture, and nature become objects of manipulation. The important technological advances of modernity are used not only in the extraction and exploitation of primary resources, but also - indeed, primarily- to accomplish the alienation and enslavement of entire populations. This is how modernity was constituted, as an oscillation between these two modes of appropriation of the world; and it is precisely this tension that characterizes the first explorers' encounters with the Amerindian peoples. Modernity and New France

What is it that we can explain in the history of New France by employing such a conception of modernity? In which ways does New France present an original configuration and balance of modernity's two objectivizing tendencies? Why did the North American colony under the French Empire follow a trajectory so radically different from, for example, French Algeria? The answer to the first question follows from the specific fact that cultural mediation with Amerindian peoples was necessary for the exploitation of American natural resources. In other words, in order to become objects of manipulation, these peoples first had to become objects of comprehension for colonial powers.

gio Denys Delage and Jean-Philippe Warren

The missionary power, in order to better evangelize these supposedly idolatrous tribes, had to learn Amerindian languages. Missionaries wrote grammars and dictionaries, and often discovered a natural sympathy for peoples whose origins and cultures at first inspired prejudice. Missionaries found in certain Huron, for example, 'fine dialecticians' and powerful orators and philosophers. By the time he died, Father Le Jeune would maintain that besides God, everything was relative (Jesuit Relations [1610-1791] 1896-1901 [hereafter/R] 44: 276-309). Marie de 1'Incarnation, although a cloistered nun, adapted herself to local mores and learned Algonquin and Huron in order to teach to her 'little savages' (Guyart [1626-72] 1971, 177, 202, 230, 718, 802, 962-3; Delage, 1992, 162). Missionaries had left Europe with the idea that they were going to live among primitive and barbaric tribes, but it was in their own culture that they actually discovered ridiculous mores, shameful social ideas, and clearly amoral policies. Thus, they sometimes ended up subscribing to Montaigne's view, according to which what we call barbarism is in fact that which is simply not our own custom (Montaigne [1580] 1962, i: 230-45). As for the royal power, it doubly needed an alliance with the Amerindians. First of all, European cartographers borrowed virtually all their knowledge from the Native peoples, even copying their maps. Second, in the wars against other colonial powers, the Crown understood how vital was the need for good relations with Native peoples. When French and then Anglo-Amerindian alliances were made, the different diplomatic forms were borrowed largely from indigenous ways and traditions. The royal power respected the rites of the alliances, going so far as to declare itself ready to conciliate degrees of freedom in the interpretation Amerindians would make of alliances the French would have wished to be more coercive. The commercial power also had to let young people grow up in tribes in order to learn the language, the techniques, and the commercial networks of Native peoples. Given that, before the conquest of New France in 1759, 75 per cent of the colony's exports came from the fur trade, it was essential that this trade be organized, and to accomplish this it. was necessary to gain the favour of those who were hunting and trading furs, the Amerindians. No one asserts - indeed, everything leads us to believe the contrary that if French colonization had continued, a precarious balance would have been maintained between 'co-opted' and 'dominated' Amerindians, to use the conceptual framework described above. If domination in certain cases led to an understanding of the Amerindians (which

Amerindians and the Horizon of Modernity 311

happened more often than is usually acknowledged), as a general rule this very understanding provided only a basis for the domination of pop ulations and the conquest of territories. Yet ways of life on both sides had been made relative by the comparison with the Other. Many essays in this volume provide examples of men and women who crossed frontiers and dared to leave the paths prescribed by their culture. We witness Champlain succeeding where Cartier had failed because the former had managed to make the Amerindians his allies instead of considering them like beasts to conquer. Did not the Basques also succeed at the same enterprise? Pierre Boucher surely symbolizes a life in which the North American experience meant multilingualism, miscegenation, and fascination with nature. And, in another area, didn't Sir William Phips understand that the empire's expansion required the redefinition of collective membership on other bases than that of ethnicity? Many Native people also lived in both worlds: Pastedechouan the Montagnais, Kondiaronk the Huron, Tecumseh the Shawnee are a few representative examples. Nevertheless, in spite of the Amerindians' great reflexive capacities, it was the Europeans who developed an ethnographic perspective (and an ethnographic literature) on Amerindians, as they had on peoples from Antiquity or from other continents. This led to descriptions and comparisons for which the objectivization of culture was essential. Everything became an object of discussion for observers who conceived society as a modifiable, transformable, and manipulable given. The councils of the Amerindians might furnish the basis of a conception of the republic, or the ways in which they raised their children might inspire Rousseau's view of a less coercive education. In each case, this was possible thanks to the idea that Amerindian culture, like Western culture, was a human product that reason could analyse. In North America, the encounter between these two worlds amplified the process of realization of the modern project. But if the encounter with Native people, with their difference and with the criticisms they addressed to Western culture, fed the questioning of manners, religious and secular beliefs, and Western institutions, it nevertheless did not interrogate the fundamental relationship: the colonial one. Colonial societies have seldom contemplated melting into Amerindian societies. The Amerindian has always been judged as barbarous, often primitive, childlike, and lazy- in other words, incapable of full autonomy outside the control and supervision of the church or the state. In addition, modernity has provided all the justifying arguments to augment the religious ones: 'natural' servitude, the right to discover and

$12 Denys Delage and Jean-Philippe Warren

conquer, the duty to work, private property, the 'survival of the fittest,' and so on. In short, the objectivization of culture has made possible the desire to eliminate the Other as Other, as well as the desire to be open to the Other (Simard 1988, 83). Despite this history, modernity is not definable in a purely negative form. It is not a cultural matrix without culture; it rather allows society to explicitly rework cultural symbols and practices that constitute that society's past and the basis of its future. Modernity adds to the conception of culture as heritage the conception of culture as project. If the encounter of both worlds leads Amerindians to a certain cultural relativism, they are nevertheless not generally inclined to critique their own culture; they do not distance themselves from it in order to objectivize it, whereas this is precisely what Europeans do. The transformations in the Renaissance mode of thought, and the intense cultural variation resulting from colonial expansion, had prepared Europeans for the objectivization of cultures, including their own. Europeans, as a result, have mastered the manipulation of cultures to their own ends. Two contradictory processes seem to be simultaneously at play here, which in great part explains why, while cultural relativism facilitates Western domination, at the same time it prevents Amerindians from adopting a distance from their own culture. Why was it so difficult for them to appropriate the Renaissance, and how could they move from being the object of the Renaissance to its subject in the colonial context? In addition to the fact that Amerindian modes of thought were quite different from those of the Renaissance, it is historically via the colonial process that the Renaissance reached Amerindian peoples, and for that reason the Renaissance is intimately associated with the powers that sought to enslave them. Both the colonized and the colonizer see what the other attempts to hide: Amerindians do not formulate a critique of their own culture but criticize the colonial relationship, whereas the European blindly does the opposite. Historiography and the Colonial Legacy in the Age of Political Correctness

It is important for contemporary historians, regardless of their ethnic background, to refuse the paradigms stemming from the colonial heritage. Historians must take a step further in the work of deconstruction and objectivization initiated by the Renaissance by breaking with anachronism and ethnocentrism. Breaking with anachronism implies making

Amerindians and the Horizon of Modernity


the effort to understand a bygone epoch for itself, in its own logic, while recognizing that one can do this only from one's own epoch. The same logic, of course, applies to the study of other cultures. This is what the studies in this volume have undertaken. Some have insisted on the necessity of using all sources - not only written archives but also material traces from the past revealed by archaeology as well as the memories available to us through oral traditions. Many have insisted on the broadening of geographical perspectives and diffusion networks, on comparisons, and on the interaction between micro and macro perspectives. Others have proposed ways of reading sources, have proceeded to the analysis of mental categories, or have proposed to characterize the nature of the relationship to the Other: negation, segregation, observation, fusion, juxtaposition, interaction, and so on. These relations have varied depending on the historical periods, the colonies, and the individuals involved; they have given rise to conquests, alliances, failures, discoveries of all sorts, identity transformations, and the definition of new ways of attaining knowledge. Brother Sagard, for example, built his Huron dictionary around semantic networks rather than in alphabetical order; Vaughan promoted the colonization of Newfoundland for strictly socio-economic reasons rather than for religious motives. This book is thus part of the recent reorientation of colonial history that deconstructs the perspective of the actors - indeed, investigates all actors (not only the colonists) - as well as analyzing the interaction and influence among and between individual and collective actors, so as to situate them in their historical contemporaneity. This last aspect is the most problematic. The various actors, although contemporaries, are participating in different temporal universes: a merchant's temporality is not that of a self-sufficient peasant; the more cyclical temporality of hunter-gatherers is different from the concept of time in colonial societies. Moreover, even though they are contemporaries, the 'partners' are not equals. Europeans have three advantages over Amerindians: their greater epidemiological resistance, their connection to centralized states, and the Renaissance's legacy of objectification. History must resist the temptation, in the name of political correctness, to deny these inequalities and the relations of domination characteristic of past centuries in the name of present-day idealizations. The issue of biases intrinsic to written sources is related to these broader questions. It is much easier to write the history of the Jesuits than that of the Capuchins because the former have left writings behind them, whereas the latter have not. The same is true for the history of

314 Denys Delage and Jean-Philippe Warren

upper classes and Europeans, as opposed to that of lower classes and Amerindians. Because of the availability of materials, the history of Native peoples will always be much less the history of the relationships of Amerindians among themselves than the history of their relationship with 'whites.' Regardless of its wealth, oral history will never be able to fill this hole completely because it is related to another system, and neither its structure nor its functions are analogous to those of the written history of the post-Renaissance period. How can history as a discipline deal with the myths of traditional Native societies? In the same manner that it does with the myths of all peoples, be they Celtic, Germanic, or English from the Middle Ages: by objectivizing them, by uncovering their systems of meanings in order to understand the mental universe and the cosmology which inhabit them. We need to leave behind the ideal of the equivalence of two different systems of thought. For example, medical knowledge stemming from contemporary Western scientific botany borrowed from the knowledge of all the peoples of the world, but very often by overshadowing this borrowing and by ignoring, as a result of ethnocentrism, the traditional systems of classification. It is, of course, important to criticize this arrogance, but it is also essential to recognize that a modern synthesis cannot stem from traditional knowledge. Modern knowledge comes about through a tradition of objectivization, maintaining of critical distance, and rigorous experimentation inherited from the Renaissance, and from the way such knowledge is made part of a systematic and rational framework. We can thus acknowledge, for example, that peppermint tea, according to traditional Amerindian knowledge, is excellent against fever, but modernity will never accept the idea that it achieves its effects for reasons related to spiritual cults or to a mythical genesis. We must therefore abandon the idea of typical equivalencies between pre- and post Renaissance societies. Such a statement might well appear reactionary, since it seems to reflect the racist idea of the white man's superiority, but this is not what we intend. In the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth, evolutionist theses applied to human relationships were translated in North America into an opposition between white civilization and Native savagery. Thus, savagery would inevitably disappear as modernity progressed. Such views explicitly led to policies of assimilation, while they implicitly meant that it was impossible for Amerindian societies to appropriate the fruits of the Renaissance - that is, of modernity. Had they done this, these societies would supposedly have stripped themselves of their identity, according to the official discourse of the day. The educated

Amerindians and the Horizon of Modernity 315 Amerindian practising a non-traditional profession would have become a 'white, 1 just as Canadian Indian law provided: a man or a woman who exceeded the level of high school education was stripped of his or her Indian status. In brief, colonialist discourse clearly signified that the diffusion of the Renaissance was incompatible with Native identity. This restriction stems from a colonial perspective that neither English nor French could possibly have conceived of applying to themselves. The rejection of the evolutionist paradigm (Civilization versus Savageness) however does not imply our rescue from the colonial relationship, which, like the monster Hydra, grows a new head whenever one is cut off. The paradigm of cultural relativism is, oddly enough, its carrier; everyone tries honourably to judge each society according to its own values and rules, while at the same time admitting that once agriculture, iron, writing, and the critical method were invented, nomadic cultures with stone tools and traditions of myth all end up adopting them. Scholars furthermore contribute to the confining of Amerindians to folklore from the moment they refuse to concede to Native peoples the capacity to assimilate modernity. They do so by defining and maintaining the identity of Native peoples in a negative relationship with modernity, and by representing contemporaneity as an affliction these innocent peoples should be kept away from. Nor do we believe that Native concepts of history are opposed to European concepts of history. In their prehistories both were mythic, but the concepts of history used by historians today, whether they are indigenous or not, and whether they concern some event or historical object, arise from the same epistemology, one stemming from the Renaissance. This does not mean, of course, that historical production is homogeneous. The historiographic trend that differentiates Native societies from Western societies along a set of binary oppositions (holistic/linear, static/dynamic, atemporal/temporal, communal/individualistic, spiritual/profane) is not only unfruitful, but is also very problematic. Such a conception leads us to confine the field of Native history to a pre-Renaissance universe or, even worse, to an atemporal universe. This way of doing ethnohistory actually ossifies and folklorizes cultural forces even further (Simard 1988, 85). Nevertheless, we cannot study past societies without objectivizing them - that is, without historicizing them in specific places, contexts, periods, and dynamics. As soon as the colonial relationship manifested itself, it created a mirror effect. Not only are cultures juxtaposed, but relations and systems are superimposed and impose themselves: writing, a market economy,

316 Denys Delage and Jean-Philippe Warren

missions, armies. The result is to engender a distance vis-a-vis oneself, as well as a separation between the subject and the object, a phenomenon that is at the source of a historical consciousness. We thus face a contradiction, both in the case of ancient mythologies and the framework of colonial subjugation (Simard 1988, 84). For example, it is only in the midst of divisions, tensions, and opposed interpretations between tribes, clans, masters, and prisoners-slaves, in the context of such alliances or such 'proto-imperialist' conquests, that the Iroquois society of the Five Nations managed to maintain, for a while, a certain diplomatic balance. Conclusion

Any historical or anthropological analysis of past societies, or of their myths, oral or written, Christian, Iroquois, or Algonquian, fatally engenders a certain disenchantment with the world. To qualify this disenchantment as non-indigenous would lead to misrepresenting Native peoples as capable of living only in a mythical culture, forbidding them the critical reflexivity of a culture simultaneously conceived as heritage and project. It would then be possible to believe that in order to better preserve the innocence of virtuous and authentic societies, the West should have the exclusive monopoly over history, politics, and sciences. Though it is beyond the scope of this short afterword, we must nevertheless insist that indigenous peoples entered the modern era at the beginning of the colonial era, and that they were confronted with the Other, with doubt, and with subversion, just as other European peoples had previously been in their encounter with the process of civilization opened by the Renaissance (Simard 1988, 86). The revolt of indigenous peoples from all over the colonial world against the colonial power, after the Second World War, borrowed its ideals and its means from modernity. In North America, they appropriated the extraordinary tool introduced to them by the missionaries - namely, writing. Should we today forbid them this medium for fear that they might betray their ancestors' traditions (Barbeau 1915, 296)? Leaders such as Metacom, known to the English as King Philip, worked, often without success, to cross tribal barriers to create united fronts against colonial invasion. Tribes with older ties with whites had acquired much superior skills in manipulating their European allies. After the passage of the Renaissance, there is no escape possible towards the past and towards the world of myth. This does not mean that modernity represents an ideal society, one which we should now

Amerindians and the Horizon of Modernity 317

continue reproducing. Modernity is the horizon against which our most profound crises and our most fruitful dialogues emerge - crises because the objectivization of culture is always the beginning of a questioning; dialogues because the past is no longer controlled by dogma and it is possible to plan the future. Modernity is in crisis, some say, and this is true in many respects. The horizon modernity opens before us has no certitudes. In spite of this, it is possible to believe that both colonizers and the peoples who are victims of this history share, whether they wish it or not, a common destiny. Amerindians still have to appropriate the legacy of the Renaissance, to the extent that the Renaissance has to appropriate the legacy of Amerindian peoples. Beyond crises, this is reassuring. 'When your sky will reach my sky,' said the poet Rene Char, 'our house will have a roof.'

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