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The Publication Committee of 'The Caxton Club 
certifies that this copy is one of an edition of one 
hundred and ninety -four copies on hand- made paper, 
and three copies on Japanese vellum ; that the 
printing was done from type, which has been dis- 
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the month of May, mdcccxcviii. 


Relation of Henri de Tonty 
Concerning the Explora- 
tions of LaSalle from 
1678 to 1683 









Inasmuch as this version of Tonty's narrative 
is to be subjected to the test of "the deadly 
parallel-column," the translator begs leave to 
call attention to the difficulty of making any- 
thing like a literal rendering. Tonty was evi- 
dently not a master of French style. Perhaps 
his Italian origin may explain this. His syntax 
defies all the rules, and his pages are sprinkled 
with locutions not to be found in Littre. It is 
often difficult, sometimes impossible, to be sure 
of his meaning. Any attempt to imitate in 
English the confusion, crudity, and quaintness 
of his narrative would be out of keeping with 
the sober purpose of this publication. While 
the translator has taken the liberty to break up 
long sentences, — which sometimes begin at Dan 
and end in Beersheba, — and to run together 
short ones, as grammar or perspicuity seemed 
to require, he has been at pains to preserve the 
simple tone of the original. He has aimed at 
clearness and has endeavored to avoid expres- 
sions which might have seemed, from Tonty's 
pen, stilted. 

Those who compare this version with the 
French may find some passages touching the 
meaning of which they may disagree with the 
translator. It has not, however, been thought 
best to encumber the text with footnotes dis- 
cussing the meaning, as an opportunity is given 

every one to make any corrections he likes. One 
doubtful passage may suffice here as an illustra- 
tion of the difficulties encountered. It is in the 
sentence at the foot of page 48, where it is con- 
jectured the comma after the word cotons should 
be omitted. According to Clapin's Canadian 
French Dictionary the word coton is used of the 
bare, dry stem of Indian corn; and the phrase 
un coton de ble-d' Inde is quoted. It is hardly 
worth while to mention other instances. 

The translator's cordial thanks are due to 
Mr. A. J. Rudolph of the Newberry Library 
for promptly and courteously furnishing infor- 
mation inaccessible here. 

Stanford University, California, April 15, 1898. 


The original French, printed on pages opposite 
the English translation, is reprinted from Pierre 
Margry's Origines Francaises des Pays 
D' Outre- Mer (Paris, 1879), where it first 
appeared in type. 



Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Entreprises de M, de La Salle, 

de 1678 a 1683. 

Relation ecrite de Quebec, 

le 14 novembre 1684, 

par Henri de Tonty. 


APRES avoir pris conge de vous a 
Paris et vous avoir recommande mes 
interests aupres de Son Altesse Sere- 
nissime, vous voulez bien que je vous tes- 
moigne les obligations que je vous ay des 
services que vous m'avez rendus aupres de 


*Le personnage auquel Tonty s'adresse est assure- 
ment l'abbe Renaudot, son protecteur aupres du prince 
de Conti, et celui qui l'a fait agreer de M. de La Salle. 
— Tontv a ecrit en 1693 un autre memoire adresse par 
lui au comte de Pontchartrain. Je l'ai publie dans mes 
Relations et Memoires in'edits pour servir a Phistoire de la 
France dans les pays (Toutre-mer (1867). 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

Enterprises of M. de La Salle, 

from 1678 to 1683. 

Relation written from Quebec, 

the 14th of November, 1684, 

by Henri de Tonty. 


AFTER having taken leave of you 
at Paris and having entrusted to 
you my interests with his Most 
Serene Highness, I avail myself of your 
permission to express the obligation I feel 
for the services you have rendered me 


*The personage addressed by Tonty is certainly the 
Abbe Renaudot, who was his patron near the Prince de 
Conti, and who introduced him to M. de La Salle. — 
Tonty wrote in 1693 anot her Memoir addressed to the 
Comte de Pontchartrain. I printed it in my Unpublished 
Narratives and Memoirs relating to the History of France 
in the Countries over sea (1867). — [Margry.] 

4 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Juillet ce genereux prince, lequel m'a fait l'hon- 
78, neur de m'escrire plusieurs fois depuis que je 
suis en ce pays; et comme je commence a 
prendre haleine de mes voyages, je vous fais 
cette relation pour vous occuper pendant 
vos heures perdues. Je souhaite que vous 
y puissiez trouver de quoy contenter vostre 
curiosite, laquelle est fort portee pour ce 
qui regarde les pays estrangers. 

M'estant rendu a La Rochelle le 12 
Juillet 1678, j'y trouvay M. de La Salle, 
lequel estoit occupe a faire son embarque- 
ment. II me receut avec son honnestete 
ordinaire, et le 14 nous fismes voile dans un 
navire de deux cents tonneaux nomme he 
Saint-Honor'e. II y avoit dedans trente per- 
sonnes, gentilshommes ou artisans apparte- 
nant a M. de La Salle. Pendant nostre 
voyage, nous eusmes une tempeste qui dura 
cinq jours entiers. Le 2o e Aoust, nous re- 
connusmes l'isle de Terre-Neuve. Le 27 
dudit mois, nous entrasmes dans le golphe 
de Saint-Laurens. Dans ce lieu, il ne croist 
point de bled a cause du grand froid. L'on 
y fait la pesche de la molue. Nous y 
trouvasmes des Recollects qui y faisoient 
leur mission tant aux Francois qu'aux 

Le i er Septembre, nous partismes de 
ladite isle Percee et le 1 3 e nous arrivasmes 
a Quebec, ville capitale de ce pays. Ce 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 5 

near that generous Prince, who has done July, 
me the honor to write to me several times x 78# 
since I came to this country; and, as I am 
beginning to take breath after my travels, 
I write you this account to occupy your 
vacant hours. I wish that you may find 
in it matter to satisfy your curiosity, which 
is so alive to all that relates to foreign lands. 

Having repaired to La Rochelle on the 
1 2th of July, 1678, I found there M. de 
La Salle occupied with preparations for 
his embarkation. He received me with 
his usual civility, and, on the 14th, we set 
sail in a vessel of two hundred tons, 
named the Saint-Honore. There were on 
board thirty persons, gentlemen or artisans 
in the service of M. de La Salle. In the 
course of our voyage we encountered a 
tempest which lasted five whole days. On 
the 20th of August we sighted the Island Is / f 
of Newfoundland. On the 27th we en- Percee. 
tered the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In this 
place* no wheat grows on account of the 
severe cold. Cod-fishing is the chief in- 
dustry. We found here some Recollet 
friars engaged in their mission both among 
the French and among the Savages. 

On the 1 st of September we departed 


*There seems to be an omission before this sen- 
tence, but Margry is silent about it. — Translator. 

6 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Septembre ne fut pas sans beaucoup de risque, car nous 
1678. nassasmes de nuit des lieux tres-dangereux 
par 1'imprudence de nostre pilote. Ces 
endroits sont nommez la Pointe-aux-Alou- 
ettes, Tadoussac et l'isle Rouge. Nous re- 
mercions Dieu de nous avoir garanty de 
naufrage. Ayant mis a terre, nous y fusmes 
saluer M. le comte de Frontenac, qui estoit 
gouverneur de toute la Nouvelle-France, et 
le sieur Duchesneau, intendant. 

Aprez avoir demeure dans ladite ville 
pour nous remettre des fatigues de la mer, 
nous en partismes le 10 Novembre pour 
nous rendre a Montreal, ou nous arrivasmes 
le 2i e . 

Je crois, Monsieur, qu'il n'est pas neces- 
saire de vous mander les particularitez de ce 
pays, lequel est habite depuis un si long 
temps. M. de La Salle ayant equipe plu- 
sieurs canots pour monter au fort Frontenac, 
duquel il est seigneur et gouverneur, nous 
partismes ensemble le 26; nous trouvasmes 
en chemin quantite de rapides et de cheutes 
d'eau, dans lesquels on est oblige de porter 
son equipage jusqu'a l'eau morte, quand 
Ton ne peut percher ni traisner; mais ce 
qui facilite beaucoup cette navigation, c'est 
que les bastimens dont on se sert sont d'es- 
corce de boulleau, ainsy fort legers, et que 
quand on trouve des endroits difficiles, deux 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

from the said Isle Percee, and on the 1 3 th, 
arrived at Quebec, the capital of the coun- 
try. This was not without great peril, 
inasmuch as we passed very dangerous 
places by night, through the imprudence 
of our pilot. These places are named 
Pointe-aux-Alouettes, Tadoussac, and Isle 
Rouge. We thanked God for having 
saved us from shipwreck. Upon landing 
we went to pay our respects to the Comte 
de Frontenac, Governor of all New France, 
and to the Sieur Duchesneau, the Intend- 

After some time spent in this city in 
order to recover from the fatigues of the 
sea, we set out on the 1 oth of November 
for Montreal, where we arrived on the 
2 1 st. 

I judge it unnecessary, Sir, to give you 
a particular description of this country, 
which has been so long settled. M. de 
La Salle having equipped several boats for 
the purpose of ascending the river to Fort 
Frontenac, of which he is the proprietor 
and governor, we set out together on the 
26th. On the way we encountered many 
rapids and waterfalls, where it is necessary 
to carry one's boats to the still water, when- 
ever it is impossible either to pole or to 
tow. This sort of navigation is greatly 
facilitated by the circumstance that the 




Rapids and 

8 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Decembre hommes prennent un de ces canots chacun 
1678. p ar un J3 OUt et j e transportent facilement. 

y *^* SJ Nous arrivasmes le 1 6 Decembre au fort de 
Frontenac, lequel est situe sur un lac qui 
a cent lieues de long et vingt-cinq a sa plus 
grande largeur. L'air y est assez tempere, 
estant par les 43 degrez de latitude. II y 
a quelques habitations Francoises, une mai- 
son de Recollects et tout proche un village 

M. de La Salle, qui avoit fait partir le 
sieur de La Motte pour commander plu- 
sieurs Francois a Niagara pour y faire une 
maison et chercher un endroit propre a 
construire une barque au-dessus du sault, 
apprit qu'il y avoit desja longtemps qu'il y 
estoit rendu. C'est pourquoy M. de La 
Salle s'embarqua avec douze hommes pour 
traverser le lac dans une barque de vingt 
tonneaux. Le 24, M. de La Salle ayant 
ordonne a son pilote de tenir la coste du 
sud, ledit pilote negligea cet ordre pendant 
la nuit, et cela fut cause que nous pen- 
sasmes tous perir sur une batture de roches, 
vis-a-vis l'isle de Quinte, ou MM. de Saint- 
Sulpice font leur mission. Et comme nous 
nous trouvasmes a fleur d'eau, la vague estant 
extremement grosse, M. de La Salle se re- 
veilla, et voyant le danger ou nous estions, 
y apporta remede; et le vent s' estant rendu 
un peu favorable, le 2$ e nous debarquasmes 



Relation of Henri de Tonty. 9 

boats which are used are of birch-bark and December, 
very light, so that in difficult places one of f ]^2l 
these boats is easily carried by two men, 
one at each end. On the 16th of Decem- 
ber we arrived at Fort Frontenac, which is 
situated upon a lake one hundred leagues in 
length, by twenty-five at its greatest width. 
The air is quite temperate, the latitude 
being 43 degrees. There are some French 
plantations, a house of Recollet friars, and, 
near by, an Iroquois village. 

M. de La Salle, who had sent M. de La 
Motte to Niagara in command of several 
Frenchmen, for the purpose of building a 
house there, and of finding a place above 
the Falls suitable for the construction of a 
vessel, learned that La Motte had already 
been absent a long time. Accordingly M. 
de La Salle embarked with twelve men in 
a vessel of twenty tons, to traverse the lake. 
On the 24th, M. de La Salle having ordered 
the pilot to coast along the south shore of 
the lake, the said pilot neglected this order 
during the night, so that we all came near 
perishing upon a reef of rocks opposite the 
Isle de Quinte, where the Sulpician fathers 
have their mission. And as we were about 
to sink, the sea being very high, M. de La 
Salle awoke, and, seeing the danger, man- 
aged to save the ship. On the 25th, the 
wind becoming somewhat more favorable, 


La Salle 
saves the 


Relation de Henri de Tonty. 


en canot vis-a-vis la riviere des Sonnontou- 
ans pour aller querir du bled d'Inde audit 
village, et nous continuasmes nostre route 
vis-a-vis la riviere de Niagara. Le vent 
nous ayant manque a neuf lieues de ladite 
riviere, nous prismes la route par terre et, 
M. de La Salle ordonna a son pilote qu'au 
cas ou le vent vinst nord-ouest, d'emboucher 
la riviere, et en cas de surouest, de relascher 
aux Sonnontouans a cause de la saison. 

Nous arrivasmes sur le soir a 1' embouchure 
de la riviere de Niagara, et ayant appele les 
Sauvages qui estoient de 1' autre bord, ils 
nous vinrent traverser dans leurs canots de 
bois et nous receurent tres-bien dans leurs 
cabanes, nous donnerent quelques poissonsa 
manger avec de la soupe de bled d'Inde. 
Ces mets me semblerent insipides et mesme 
estranges. Neantmoins il fallut prendre le 
party d'abandonner pain, vin, poivre et sel, 
pour subsister des vivres sauvages, lesquels 
consistent en bestes fauves, poisson et bled 
d'Inde, encore en mange-t-on fort souvent; 
et pour se mettre a couvert des injures du 
temps on leve des escorces aux arbres dont 
on fait des cabanes. Sur la minuit, nous 
partismes au clair de la lune pour aller re- 
joindre le sieur de La Motte, qui avoit fait 
faire une maison a deux lieues de la. Nous 
ne l'y trouvasmes point. II estoit alle en 
embuscade avec le P. Louis, Recollect, 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

i i 

we debarked in a canoe opposite the river December, 
of the Sonnontouans, in order to get some L \^l' 
Indian corn at the village of the same V ^* >J 
name; then continuing our journey toward 
the Niagara River. At a distance of nine 
leagues from the river, the wind failing us, 
we pushed forward by land, M. de La Salle 
leaving orders with his pilot to make the 
Niagara River in case he got a northwest 
wind, while in the event of a southwest 
wind he was to put in at the river of the 
Sonnontouans on account of the season. 

Towards evening we arrived at the 
mouth of the Niagara River, and, having 
called the Savages who were on the farther 
side, they crossed over to us in their wooden 
canoes, received us hospitably into their Strange 
lodges, and gave us some fish to eat with f oodand 
Indian meal porridge. These dishes seemed 
to me insipid and even strange. Neverthe- 
less there was nothing to do but to give up 
bread, wine, salt, and pepper, and to sub- 
sist upon venison, fish, and Indian corn; 
and such our food often is to this day. 
For shelter from the inclemency of the 
weather, lodges are made of bark stripped 
from the trees. About midnight we set 
off by the light of the moon to join M. 
de La Motte, who had had a house built at 
a distance of two leagues from that place. 
We did not find him. He had gone into 


1 2 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 


Janvier nostre missionnaire et quatre Francois. M. 

l6 79- de La Salle partit le lendemain pour aller 
au-dessus du sault de Niagara pour chercher 
un lieu propre a bastir une barque, et, 
l'ayant trouve, il fit venir une partie de ses 
gens, et moy je restay a la maison. Comme 
sa barque fut sur quille, celle qu'il avoit 
laissee a neuf lieues de Niagara se brisa a la 
coste le 8 Janvier 1679. M. de La Salle, 
en ayant eu nouvelle, y courut et fit son 
possible pour sauver une partie de la ferrure 
dudit bastiment, pour faciliter celle qu'il 
faisoit construire au-dessus du sault, et 
s'estant rendu au dit endroit, il m'y fit venir 
le 30 pour y commander. Ayant pris reso- 
lution d'aller au fort de Frontenac sur les 
glaces, je l'accompagnay jusqu'au lac; et le 
i er Fevrier il traca a la sortie de la riviere 
un fort qu'il nomma Conty. Ensuite, 
ayant pris conge de luy, je m'en retournay 
au chantier, et en chemin faisant, la curi- 
osite me prit d'aller voir le sault de Niagara, 
lequel fait la separation du lac Erie et 
celuy de Frontenac. Je puis dire que c'est 
la plus belle cheute que Ton puisse voir au 
monde. A notre estime, elle tombe a pic 
de cinq cents pieds de haut et a bien deux 
cents toises de large. Elle jette des vapeurs 
lesquelles on voit de seize lieues, et elle se 
fait entendre de la mesme distance quand il 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

hiding with our missionary Father Louis, 
the Recollet, and four Frenchmen. The 
next day M. de La Salle set out to look 
for a place above the Falls suitable for the 
building of a vessel. Having found it, he 
sent for a part of his men, while I remained 
behind at the house. While his vessel was 
on the stocks, the one he had left nine 
leagues from the mouth of the Niagara 
went to pieces on the coast on the 8 th of 
January, 1679. M. de La Salle, getting 
word of this, hastened to the spot, and did 
what he could to save a portion of the iron- 
work, for use in the construction of the 
new ship above the Falls. Returning, he 
sent for me on the 30th to take command. 
As he had resolved to go back to Fort 
Frontenac upon the ice, I accompanied 
him as far as the lake; and, on the 1st of 
February, he staked out at the mouth of 
the river a fort which he named Conty. 
Then, taking leave of him, I returned to 
the shipyard, and on my way was seized 
with curiosity to see the fall of the Niag- 
ara, which separates Lake Erie from 
Lake Frontenac. I can say that it is 
the most beautiful fall to be seen in the 
world. As well as we could judge, the 
water has a perpendicular fall of five hun- 
dred feet, and is about two hundred fath- 
oms in breadth. The rising vapor can be 


J 3 


and ship- 



14 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Mai fait calme. Quand une fois les cygnes 
X ^J2i , et outardes se trouvent en son fil d'eau, il 
leur est impossible de reprendre leur vol, et 
ils sont morts avant que d'arriver au pied 
de la cheute. 

Les provisions que M. de La Salle avoit 
receues de la Cour luy avoient attire quan- 
tity d'ennemis, lesquels faisoient leur possi- 
ble pour le faire eschouer dans son entre- 
prise, desbauchant ses gens et troublant 
1' esprit des Iroquois, vers lesquels il fut 
oblige d'envoyer le sieur de La Motte pour 
adoucir ces barbares, lesquels auroient pu 
nous nuire, nous trouvant en petit nombre 
dans leur pays. Pendant son absence, je 
fus frappe d'un poison; mais, ay ant eu re- 
cours a l'orvietan,* Dieu me renvoya la 

Le 30 May, ayant fait mettre un brigan- 
tin a l'eau pour aller querir ce que Ton avoit 
sauve de la barque qui s'estoit brisee a la 
coste, nous mismes a la voile d'un vent de 
surouest, et m'estant rendu de bonne heure, 
faisant mes diligences pour embarquer ce 
qui estoit a terre, il s'eleva tout d'un coup un 
vent de large qui conduisoit une quantite de 
glaces qui se rendoit maistresse du basti- 
ment, de maniere que je me trouvay en- 
ferme, en danger de nous perdre, et pour 


* Espece de theriaque, de contre-poison. {Diet, de 
I'Jcademie, 1694.) 

Relation of Henri de Tonty. 



make mis- 

seen for sixteen leagues, and, when the 
weather is calm, the roar of the fall can 
be heard at the same distance. When once 
the swans and bustards are caught in the 
current, it is impossible for them to take 
wing, and they are dead before reaching 
the foot of the fall. 

The privileges which M. de La Salle had 
been granted by the Court had made him 
many enemies, who did what in them lay La Sa//e , s 
to wreck his enterprise, debauching his men 
and sowing suspicion among the Iroquois. 
He was compelled to send M. de La Motte 
to pacify these Savages, who were in a 
position to do us harm, finding us in their 
country in small force. During his absence 
I was attacked by a poison, but, having re- 
course to orvietan, God restored my health. 

On the 30th of May, we launched a 
brigantine for the purpose of going to get Salvage 
what had been saved from the bark that 
had been wrecked on the coast. Setting 
sail with a southwest wind, we arrived early, 
but while I was endeavoring to embark the 
articles that were on shore, there suddenly 
arose a wind from the lake, driving in 
masses of ice, which, closing 
vessel, made her unmanageable 
all our cable broke, so 

about the 
Worst of 
that we found 

1 6 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 


Mai comble de malheur nostre cable cassa, et in- 
l6 79- sensiblement nous allions a la coste. Sur 
la minuit, le vent se jetant au nord-est, nous 
fismes nostre possible pour faire eviter le 
brigantin a force de rames, et apres trois 
heures de grandes fatigues il evita. Nous 
mismes a la voile et arrivasmes le matin a 
la riviere de Niagara. Je m'embarquay en 
canot pour aller repescher l'ancre, et, estant 
arrive audit lieu, j'y trouvay le sieur de La 
Motte qui me dit que les Iroquois estoient pa- 
cifiez; je luy laissay le soin de faire repescher 
l'ancre et m'en retournay au-dessus du sault. 

Le 1 1, je renvoyay le sieur de La Motte, 
le pere Louis avec onze hommes, au fort de 
Frontenac dans le brigantin, selon les ordres 
que j'avois receus. L'on compte 60 lieues 
de traversee. 

Le 20 may, le sieur de La Forest, major 
du fort de Frontenac, m'envoya des ordres 
de M. de La Salle pour aller avec la barque, 
laquelle estoit de 40 tonneaux, au fond des 
lacs, pour annoncer aux Illinois qu'il devoit 
venir s'habituer parmy eux par ordre du 
Roy. Je fis monter la barque jusqu'a 
l'entree du lac, et y ayant trouve un grand 
rapide, il me fut impossible d'y monter a 
cause d'un foudre de vent. J'en donnay 
advis a M. de La Salle, lequel me vint 
joindre avec trois Peres Recollects, les 
Peres de la Ribourde, Membre et Louis 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 17 

ourselves slowly drifting ashore. The wind May, 
shifting to the northeast about midnight, 79 ' 

we made efforts to get clear from the ice ^^9^^ 
by rowing, and, after three hours of fatig- 
uing work, we got her clear. Setting sail, 
we arrived in the morning at the Niagara 
River. Returning in a canoe to fish up the 
anchor, I found M. de La Motte, who in- 
formed me that the Iroquois were pacified. 
Leaving him to superintend the recovery 
of the anchor, I returned to our camp 
above the falls. 

On the 1 ith, I sent M. de La Motte and Tonty 
Father Louis, with eleven men, back to ^ lst0 . 1 

7 ii- ■ ■ clear with 

Fort Frontenac in the brigantine, in pur- the bark. 
suance of orders which I had received. 
The passage is estimated at sixty leagues. 
On the 20th of May,* M. de La Forest, 
Major in command at Fort Frontenac, sent 
me orders from M. de La Salle to go with 
the bark, which was of forty tons, to the 
end of the lakes, for the purpose of an- 
nouncing to the Illinois that he was to 
come and dwell among them by command 
of the King. I ran the bark up to the 
entrance of the lake where, encountering 
a strong rapid, I found it impossible to as- 
cend on account of a tremendous wind. 


*The thirtieth of May is referred to at the begin- 
ning of the second paragraph before this. — Transla- 

1 8 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 


Juiliet Hennepin, et plusieurs Francis avec une 
l6 79- seconde ancre qu'il fit amener. II s'occupa 
a forcer ledit rapide a la touee, et avant de 
l'avoir monte il m'envoya avec cinq hommes 
vers le detroit et la separation du lac Huron 
et de celuy d'Erie, pour aller joindre 14 
Francois a qui il avoit donne rendez-vous en 
cet endroit. L'on y compte 100 lieues, et 
depuis le 22 Juiliet jusqu'au 10 Aoust que 
j'y arrivay, nous ne vescumes que de . . . 
qui se trouvent par le chemin. Nous estions 
cabanez a la pointe du detroit, ou le terrain 
est si petit a cause d'un marais qui estoit 
derriere nous, que comme il ventoit beau 
frais de nord-est dans le lac, la lame com- 
mencoit a nous couvrir, ce qui nous fit 
eveiller plus matin que nous n'aurions sou- 
haite et au point du jour apercevoir la 
barque; nous fismes 3 fumees, elle territ. 
Nous mismes nostre canot a l'eau, et nous 
embarquasmes dedans. 

Apres avoir monte le detroit, lequel a 
30 lieues de long, nous entrasmes dans le 
lac Huron, qui en a 130 de long et 20 de 
large; nous fusmes battus d'une tempeste 
les 24 et 25, et le 26 nous naviguasmes. 
Le 27 nous arrivasmes a Missilimakinak, 
qui est un endroit ou il y a deux villages de 
Sauvages, Fun de Kiskakons et l'autre de 
Hurons. Les Peres Jesuites y ont deux 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

Sending word of this to M. de La Salle, he 
came to my assistance, bringing a second 
anchor, and accompanied by three Recollet 
missionaries, Fathers de La Ribourde, 
Membre, and Louis Hennepin, with several 
Frenchmen. He undertook to tow the 
vessel up the rapids, but first he sent me on 
in advance with five men, to the Detroit* 
and the separation between Lake Huron 
and Lake Erie, to join fourteen French- 
men whom he had agreed to meet at that 
place. The distance is estimated at one 
hundred leagues, and, from the 2 2d of July 
until the 10th of August, when I arrived, 
we lived only upon . . . which are found 
by the way. We were encamped at the en- 
trance of the Detroit, where there was so 
little ground on account of a marsh lying 
behind us, that, as the wind was blowing 
fresh from the northeast across the lake, 
the waves began to dash over us, awaken- 
ing us earlier than we should have wished. 
At daybreak, sighting the bark, we made 
three smoking fires, when she put in toward 
land. We ran out to her in our canoe. 

Having ascended the Detroit, which is 
thirty leagues in length, we entered Lake 
Huron, which is one hundred and thirty 


*The strait. As the French word has been pre- 
served in the name of the city, I retain it. — Trans- 

l 9 


La Salle 
'comes to 
bis relief. 

A wet 

20 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 


Aout eglises, ou ils font leurs missions aux Sau- 
]^^, x vages et aux Francois qui y couchent. Nous 
y trouvasmes les gens que j'estois alle cher- 
cher au detroit. Ils estoient dans une grande 
consternation, parce qu'on leur avoit dit 
qu'ils estoient des fous que d'entreprendre 
ce voyage, et qu'il estoit impossible qu'il en 
peust eschapper aucun a cause des grands 
risques qu'il y avoit; et une partie avoient 
desja deserte. M de La Salle ayant reassure 
ceux-cy, il m'envoya au sault Saincte-Marie, 
a 30 lieues, pour cherches lesdits deserteurs. 
Je partis le 29, et, ayant pris lesdits de- 
serteurs, je les emmenay avec moy a. Missi- 
limakinak, ou j'arrivay le 17 Septembre. 
Pour M. de La Salle, il avoit fait voile 
dans le lac des Illinois. Le 17, un de nos 
gens ayant este blesse par un Sauvage, je fis 
prendre les armes a nos Francois pour 
chastier celuy qui avoit fait le coup et nous 
mettre hors d'insulte de ces canailles; nous 
fusmes jusqu'a leur fort, et comme ils sor- 
toient en foule les armes a la main, nous 
estions prests a faire feu; mais comme nous 
aperceusmes un Pere Jesuite parmi eux, le- 
quel faisoit son possible pour empescher ce 
qui seroit arrive, les chefs des nations vin- 
rent me demander pardon, et 1'arTaire fut 
terminee par quelques pelleteries qu'ils don- 
nerent, disant que c'estoit pour mettre une 
emplastre sur la blessure du blesse. Le 5 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 




long and twenty wide. On the 24th and 
the 25th, we were tossed by a tempest; on 
the 26th, we made sail. On the 27th we 
arrived at Missilimakinak, where there are 
two villages of Savages,* one of Kiska- 
kons and the other of Hurons, The Jes- 
uit Fathers have two churches there, in 
which they carry on their mission both 
among the Savages and among the French 
who remain over. Here we found the 
men whom I was to have met at the De- 
troit. They were in great consternation, 
having been told that they were madmen 
to undertake the journey, and that no one 
could escape its perils. Some of them had 
already deserted. M. de La Salle having 
reassured them, he sent me to the Sault St. 
Marie, a distance of thirty leagues, to seek 
the deserters. 

I set out on the 29th, and, having taken 
the deserters, brought them back with me 
to Missilimakinak, where I arrived the 
17th of September. M. de La Salle had 
sailed up the lake of the Illinois. On the 
1 7th, one of our men having been wounded 
by a Savage, I put our Frenchmen under spirited 
arms to punish him who had done the deed ' uy ' 
and to put an end to the insults from these 


*Tonty never uses the word " Indian," but turns 
the word " sauvage " into a proper name. — Trans- 

Tonty' s 


Relation de Henri de Tonty. 


Octobre, je partis pour la riviere des Mia- 
mis, ou j'arrivay le 1 2 Novembre. Nous 
patismes de vivres par les chemins, a cause 
des mauvais temps; et apres avoir costoye 
cent vingt lieues le lac des Illinois, nous 
entrasmes dans ladite riviere. Je fus mesme 
oblige de laisser quelques-uns de mes gens 
pour chasser et prendre le devant, a cause 
d'un canot que je trouvay en chemin, que 
M. de la Salle envoyoit a Missilimakinak 
pour apprendre de mes nouvelles et de celles 
de sa barque, dont il estoit fort en peine a 
cause d'un coup de vent qui avoit regne 
pendant cinq jours apres qu'il l'eut quittee. 
Je trouvay M. de La Salle a l'entree de la 
riviere, lequel faisoit construire un fort pour 
mettre en seurete les choses necessaires pour 
sa descouverte; mais, comme la saison estoit 
avancee et qu'il souhaitoit voir les Illinois, 
lesquels sont a cent cinquante lieues de la, 
il m'ordonna de retourner chercher les gens 
que j'avois laissez en chasse. Apres avoir 
navigue huit lieues sur le lac, il s'eleva un 
tres-mauvais temps, lequel nous fit prendre 
resolution d'entrer dans une riviere; mais, 
comme il y avoit de tres-grandes lames, nous 
nous vismes obligez d'eschouer a la coste. 
Comme nous approchions de terre, nostre 
canot fut d'abord plein d'eau ; et ensuite, ayant 
tourne, nous perdismes tout nostre equipage. 
J'en donnay advis a M. de La Salle, et 



the wound. 

Relation of Henri de Tonty. 23 

wretches. We marched to their fort and, 
as they were sallying forth with their 
weapons, we were about to fire upon them, 
when we perceived among them a Jesuit 
Father who was doing everything in his 
power to prevent what seemed about to 
take place. The chiefs of the nations 
came and asked my pardon, and the affair 
ended by their presenting me with some 
skins, saying that it was for a salve to the Salving 
wound of the injured man. On the 5th 
of October I set out for the river of the 
Miamis,* where I arrived on the 1 2th of 
November. On account of the bad weather 
we suffered on the way for want of food; 
and, after coasting the lake of the Illinois 
for a hundred and twenty leagues, we ran 
into the aforesaid river. I had been obliged 
to leave some of my men to hunt while I 
pushed forward, having met a canoe which 
M. de La Salle had sent back toward Mis- 
silimakinak to get news of me and of the 
bark, about which he was very anxious 
on account of a wind that had been raging 
for five days after his departure. At the 
mouth of the river I found M. de La Salle 
engaged in the construction of a fort for 
the protection of the equipments necessary 
for his undertaking; but the season being 
advanced, M. de La Salle, wishing to see the 

*The St. Joseph River. — Translator. 


Relation de Henri de Tonty. 


Decembre pendant trois jours nous ne vecusmes que de 
l6 79- glands que nous cherchions sous la neige. 
II m'envoya ordre de rebrousser chemin, et 
le 6 Decembre nous prismes la route des 
Illinois apres avoir monte la riviere des 
Miamis environ vingt-sept lieues, et n'ayant 
personne qui peust nous guider pour trouver 
un portage qui va a la riviere des Illinois. 
M. de La Salle marcha par terre dans le 
dessein de me trouver. La nuit survint et 
nous cabanasmes; mais M. de La Salle 
estant engage entre un marais et la terre 
ferme, il fut oblige de faire le tour. Ayant 
aperceu un feu, il y fut, esperant de trouver 
des Sauvages et cabaner avec eux. II cria 
en Sauvage, mais voyant que personne ne 
luy respondoit, il entra dans les fredoches 
ou estoit ledit feu. II ne trouva personne, 
et c'estoit assurement le cabanage d'un 
guerrier qui avoit eu peur de luy. II y 
coucha avec deux tisons devant luy. Quoy- 
qu'il fist beaucoup de froid et que mesme 
il neigeast, le lendemain il me vint joindre. 
II arriva aussy un Sauvage chasseur de M. 
de La Salle, qui nous dit que les gens que 
j'avois laissez en chasse nous attendoient 
au portage, lequel estoit a deux lieues au- 
dessous de nous. Le portage trouve et 
nos gens rassemblez, cela nous causa une 
grande joye. Nous nous trouvasmes ainsi 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

Illinois who dwell a hundred and fifty 
leagues from there, ordered me to return 
for the men whom I had left to hunt. 
After sailing eight leagues, the weather be- 
came so bad that we resolved to run into 
a river ; but the breakers were so high that 
we found ourselves compelled to run ashore. 
As we were approaching land our boat was 
at one time full of water ; afterwards it was 
overset and we lost our entire equipment. 
I sent word to M. de La Salle, and for three 
days we lived only upon acorns which we 
found under the snow. He sent me orders 
to turn back, and, on the 6th of Decem- 
ber, we began our journey toward the coun- 
try of the Illinois, having in the meantime 
ascended the river of the Miamis about 
twenty-seven leagues, and having no one to 
guide us to find a portage to the river of 
the Illinois. M. de La Salle marched on 
foot with the intention of meeting me. 
Night came on and we encamped ; but M. 
de La Salle, becoming entangled in a swamp, 
was obliged to make a detour. Seeing a fire, 
he approached it, expecting to find Savages 
with whom he might encamp. He called 
out in the language of the Savages and, re- 
ceiving no reply, entered the bushes where 
the fire was. He found no one ; it was cer- 
tainly the camping-place of a warrior who 
had been frightened by him. There he 


2 5 



La Salle 1 s 
night ad- 

26 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 


Decembre vingt-neuf Fran9ois; mais cette joye pensa 
*°79* estre courte, car, comme il y a toujours des 
mescontents dans ces sortes d'entreprises, 
comme nous faisions le portage et que M. 
de La Salle passoit devant un nomme Du- 
plessis, cet homme, ayant son fusil, eut la 
hardiesse de coucher en joue M. de La Salle 
dans le dessein de le tuer. Mais il fut des- 
tourne par un de ses camarades, ce que nous 
n'avons appris que longtemps apres. 

Le 15, nostre portage estant fait, apres 
avoir navigue environ cinquante lieues, il se 
fit un party des deux tiers de nos gens, les- 
quels vouloient deserter la nuit et nous de- 
grader au cabanage; mais, par un pressenti- 
ment de M. de La Salle, il fit descharger 
les canots, ce qui rompit ce coup. Nous 
estions dans une grande disette, a cause 
que le feu avoit couru dans les prairies, 
et nous ne subsistions que de gibier et 
de poules d'Inde, a cause que les bestes 
s'estoient retirees; et le 31 nous arri- 
vasmes au village des Illinois, ou nous ne 
trouvasmes personne. lis estoient tous allez 
en chasse; mais, ayant visite les caches ou 
ils mettent leur bled d'Inde, nous en prismes 
environ quarante minots, ce qui donna beau- 
coup de consolation a Tequipage, car nous 
estions tous fatiguez de la disette. M. de La 
Salle y prit hauteur par 39 degres 50 minutes, 
pays aussy charmant qu'on en puisse voir: 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 



upon the 
life of 
La Salle. 

lay down, with two firebrands before him. 
Although it was very cold and was even 
snowing, he joined me the next day. There 
also came a Savage, employed as a hunter 
by M. de La Salle, who informed us that 
the men whom I had left behind to hunt 
were awaiting us at the portage, two leagues 
below. The portage found and our men all 
together again, there was great joy. We 
were in all twenty-nine Frenchmen; but 
this joy was near being cut short, for (as 
there are always dissatisfied persons in en- 
terprises of this nature) while we were 
making the portage, M. de La Salle chanced 
to be walking in front of one named Du- 
plessis, when this man had the effrontery 
to take aim with his gun at M. de La 
Salle with the intention of killing him. 
But this design was frustrated by one of his 
comrades, and it was not until long after- 
wards that we learned of the circumstance. 
On the 15th, after we had accomplished 
our portage and had traveled by water for 
some fifty leagues, a conspiracy was formed, Conspiracy 
including two-thirds of our men, to run 
away by night with the boats and reduce us 
to wigwam life, but, by some presentiment, 
M. de La Salle had the boats discharged of 
their cargoes, and so the plot was foiled. 
We were suffering great dearth, on account 
of prairie fires, and had nothing to subsist 



Relation de Henri de Tonty. 


Decembre ce ne sont presque que plaines ornees de 
,679 ' bouquets de bois; on y trouve plusieurs 
fruits inconnus; la terre y produit des racines 
admirables; c'est ou Ton trouve les premiers 
boeufs sauvages, appelez par les Espagnols 
Sibola. Quand le feu n'a point couru dans 
les prairies, elles sont remplies de toutes 
sortes de bestes fauves par troupeaux, comme 
les moutons, quantite de poules d'Inde et 
gibier. Le Sauvages y sont tres-bien faits. 
lis se cabanent de nattes de jonc. Ce sont 
les meilleurs coureurs de l'Amerique. 

Nous continuasmes nostre route jusqu'a 
trente lieues plus bas, et nous tuasmes quel- 
ques boeufs qui y traversoient la riviere. 
Ay ant aperceu de la fumee, M. de La Salle 
fit mettre les canots en bataille. En dou- 
blant une pointe, nous aperceusmes un petit 
village de chasse. lis furent fort alarmez, 
nous prenant pour des Iroquois. Les 
femmes et enfans s'enfuirent dans les bois; 
mais comme ils reconnurent que nous estions 
Francois, ils nous montrerent de loin le 
calumet qui est le symbole de la paix parmy 
eux. On leur en montra aussy un, et ay- 
ant mis pied a terre, ils nous receurent hu- 
mainement et firent revenir les fuyards. 
Les hommes ne sont point couverts et ont 
le nez et les oreilles percez, les cheveux 
coupez a l'espaisseur d'un pouce. II n'y 
a que le sexe feminin qui se couvre. Leur 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 





upon but game* and turkeys, the animals December, 
having fled. On the 31st we reached the l6?9 ' 
village of the Illinois, where we found no 
one. They were all away hunting; but, 
visiting the caches where they put their 
Indian corn, we took about forty bushels of 
it, which greatly cheered our company, for 
we were all worn with fasting. M. de 
La Salle found the latitude to be 39 de- 
grees, 50 minutes. The country is as 
charming as can be found anywhere, con- 
sisting almost wholly of plains studded with 
groups of trees ; several unknown fruits are 
found; the soil produces excellent roots; 
and here one first finds the wild cattle, called 
by the Spaniards SiSo/a.f When the prairies 
have not been desolated by fire, they are pop- 
ulous with all sorts of wild beasts in herds 
like sheep, great numbers of turkeys, and 
much game. The Savages are extremely 
well formed. Their lodges are built of reed 
mats. They are the best runners in America. 
We continued our journey thirty leagues 
farther down the river, and killed some 
cattle as they were crossing the stream. 
Having noticed some smoke, M. de La 
Salle had the canoes put in order for battle. 
On rounding a point, we came upon a small 


* " Small game " is probably meant. — Translator. 
f Undoubtedly the buffalo. — Translator. 



Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

humeur approche fort du Francois. Le 
jour que nous arrivasmes, qui estoit le 4 
Janvier 1680, la riviere fut glacee. La 
veille des Rois, six de nos gens deserterent 
et penserent mourir de faim, comme nous 
Tapprismes ensuite. Apparemment que l'un 
des deserteurs avoit mis du poison dans la 
marmite de M. de La Salle, car le matin, 
en mangeant la soupe, il eut tous les senti- 
mens qu'on a quand on en a pris. L'on 
ne voulut pas courir apres de peur de don- 
ner de mauvaises impressions aux Sauvages. 
Le 15, ayant trouve un lieu propre pour 
faire bastir une barque de quarante tonneaux, 
pour descendre le Mississipy ou fleuve Col- 
bert, Ton y construisit un fort qui fut 
nomme Crevecoeur, et Ton travailla a une 
barque de quarante tonneaux. Quelque 
temps ensuite, le Reverend Pere Louis Hen- 
nepin partit avec Michel et Picard jusqu'au 
pays des Sioux. M. de La Salle prit aussy 
resolution de faire un voyage de 400 lieues 
pour aller au fort de Frontenac par terre, 
ce qu'il fit, et partit le 1 o Mars lui sixiesme, 
me laissant commandant en sa place. II 
trouva en son chemin ceux qu'il avoit en- 
voyez a Missilimakinak, lesquels luy appri- 
rent la triste nouvelle de la perte de la 
seconde barque qui se montoit a pres de 
40,000 livres. II ne laissa pas de continuer 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

hunting-camp. They were much alarmed, 
mistaking us for Iroquois. The women 
and children fled to the woods; but when 
they saw that we were Frenchmen, they 
held out the calumet, which is the token 
of peace among them. We also showed 
them one, and landed; they received us 
humanely and caused the fugitives to re- 
turn. The men go without clothing, have 
the nose and ears pierced, and the hair cut 
within an inch of the scalp. The females 
only are clad. Their disposition is much 
like that of the French. The day we ar- 
rived, which was the 4th of January, 
1680, the river was frozen over. On the 
eve of Twelfth-night six of our men de- 
serted, and, as we afterwards learned, came 
near dying of starvation. Apparently one 
of the deserters had poisoned the food of 
M. de La Salle, for, in the morning, upon 
eating his porridge, he was seized with all 
the symptoms of poisoning. We refrained 
from pursuit of the fugitives for fear of 
making a bad impression upon the Savages. 
On the 1 5th, a place was found suitable 
for the construction of a vessel of forty 
tons, for the descent of the Mississipy or 
Colbert River. There a fort was built 
and named Crevecceur, and work was be- 
gun upon a bark of forty tons. Some- 
time afterwards, the Reverend Father Louis 


3 1 


to poison 
La Salle. 

More ship- 

32 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

1680. sa route et m'envoya ordre de remonter au 
^VNJ village des Illinois pour y faire un fort sur 
une eminence et a demi-lieue du village. 
Je me mis en chemin pour cela; et ceux 
qui m'avoient apporte les ordres estant 
restez au fort de Crevecceur, comme ils 
avoient este gagnez par les ennemis 
La Salle, un nomme Noel Leblanc les des- 
baucha presque tous. Je me trouvay avec 
deux prestres Recollects et trois jeunes 
hommes, demunis de toutes choses, estant 
obligez de subsister de la chaudiere des Sau- 
vages, les deserteurs ayant vole tout ce que 
nous avions. Je dressay des proces-verbaux 
que j'envoyay a M. de La Salle sur ce sujet, 
lequel les attrapa dans le lac de Frontenac, 
ou il y en eut deux de tuez, ce qui luy causa 
du retardement de son voyage. Et comme 
il m'avoit promis d'estre de retour a la fin 
de May, nous taschasmes de couler le temps 
le mieux qu'il nous fut possible. Neant- 
moins nous apprismes par divers Sauvages 
Outaouacs que M. de La Salle estoit mort, 
et ils nous donnerent des preuves assez per- 
tinentes pour nous faire croire que cela 
estoit. Cependant j'estois fort embarrasse; 
car Ton avoit dit aux Illinois que M. de La 
Salle estoit venu en leur pays pour les don- 
ner a manger aux Iroquois, et que, pour ce 
qui estoit de moy, je n'estois pas Francois. 
Neantmoins, quelque difficulte qu'il y eust, 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

Hennepin set out with Michel and Picard 
for the land of the Sioux. M. de La Salle 
also determined to undertake a land jour- 
ney of four hundred leagues to Fort 
Frontenac. This he did, setting out on 
the ioth of March with five men, and 
leaving me in command in his place. 
On his way he met the men whom he 
had sent to Missilimakinak, who told him 
the sad news of the destruction of the 
second vessel, by which his loss amounted 
to about forty thousand livres. He did 
not flinch from continuing his journey, and 
sent me orders to go back to the Illinois 
village and build a fort upon an eminence 
a half-league from there. For this pur- 
pose I set out, leaving at Fort Crevecoeur 
those who had brought me the orders. 
But they had been won over by the ene- 
mies of M. de La Salle, and a man named 
Noel Leblanc debauched them almost all. 
I found myself with two Recollet priests 
and three young men, deprived of every- 
thing and compelled to take pot-luck with 
the Savages, the deserters having stolen all 
that we had. I drew up reports of this and 
sent them to M. de La Salle, who caught the 
deserters on Lake Frontenac, where two of 
them were killed. All this delayed his 
return. As he had promised to be back by 
the last of May, we tried to pass the time 




La Salle's 
journey on 

with the 

34 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Septembre j'estois resolu d'aller prendre langue a Mis- 
1680. silimakinak, et je partis le 2 Septembre, 
contre la volonte des Sauvages, et, ayant 
trouve les eaux extremement basses, je fus 
oblige de relascher. Le 1 o, la riviere ayant 
creu par quelque orage, je fis regommer 
nostre canot pour partir le lendemain. 
Mais un Chaouanon, qui estoit party la 
nuit pour aller a son pays, ayant rencontre 
l'armee des Iroquois, arriva le 11 et en 
apporta la nouvelle. Cette nouvelle, jointe 
avec mon depart, confirma aux Sauvages ce 
qu'on leur avoit dit de nous. Un chef de 
la nation me dit: "Nous voyons bien pre- 
sentement que tu es l'amy de Tlroquois. 
Les Francois qui nous l'ont dit n'ont point 
de tort; pour le present nous sommes morts, 
car ils sont beaucoup et tu es l'amy de 
Tlroquois." Je luy fis response : " Pour 
te faire voir que je ne suis point 1'amy de 
Tlroquois, c'est que je mourray demain 
avec toy, et je me battray contre luy avec 
ce que j'ay de jeunesse icy." Sur cette re- 
sponse, ils m'appelerent tous leur camarade. 
Voyant que cela alloit bien, Ton envoya 
des descouvreurs, lesquels dirent a leur re- 
tour que l'armee estoit de six a sept cents 
hommes. La jeunesse passa toute la nuit 
en festin, et, ayant fait escarter leurs femmes 
et enfans a six lieues au-dessous du village, 
le lendemain nous fusmes au-devant des 

Iroquois ; 

Relation of Henri de Tonty. 35 

as best we could. We were informed, September, 
however, by many Ottawa braves that M. l68o# 
de La Salle was dead, and they gave us 
proofs pertinent enough to make us believe 
it to be true. Meanwhile my own situa- 
tion was very embarrassing, for the Illinois Tmafs 
had been told that M. de La Salle had triah ' 
come into their country to give them to 
the Iroquois to devour; and that, as for 
me, I was not a Frenchman. Neverthe- 
less, whatever the difficulty might be, I 
was resolved to go to Missilimakinak to 
get news ; accordingly, on the 2nd of Sep- 
tember I set out, against the wishes of the 
Savages, but, rinding the water extremely 
low, I was forced to give over the attempt. 
On the 10th, the river having risen on ac- 
count of rain, I had our boat pitched 
again, intending to start the next day. But 
a Shawano who had set out at night for 
his own country, having met the army of 
the Iroquois, came back on the 11th with 
the news. This news, with my departure, 
confirmed for the Savages the truth of what 
had been told them of us. A chief of the 
nation said to me: — "We now see plainly 
that you are the friend of the Iroquois. 
The Frenchmen who told us this were not 
wrong; now we are dead, for the Iroquois 
are many and you are their friend." I re- 
plied; — "To prove to you that I am not 




Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Iroquois ; et quand les deux armees furent 
en presence a demi-lieue de distance, les 
chefs des Illinois me prierent de porter un 
collier aux Iroquois pour tascher de faire la 
paix avec eux. "Nous voyons bien, disoient- 
ils, que nous sommes sur le point d'estre 
defaits, a cause qu'une partie de nostre jeu- 
nesse est allee en guerre, et que nous 
n'avons que des arcs et des fleches." J'eus 
assez de peine, a cause queje ne scavois pas 
parler Iroquois ; neantmoins, dans l'espe- 
rance de trouver parmy eux quelque esclave 
dont je me pourrois faire entendre, je pris 
un collier de pourcelaine pour y aller, et 
un Illinois m'accompagna. Comme je fus 
a portee de fusil des Iroquois, je leur mon- 
tray le collier qui est la marque avec quoy 
on parle chez eux. Aussytost qu'ils nous 
virent si proche, ils firent une descharge de 
coups de fusil sur nous. Je dis pour lors a 
l'lllinois: " Retire-toi. Pour moy, quand 
je devrois mourir, je vais parler a l'lroquois 
pour te sauver la vie." II se retira hors de 
la portee et je continuay a aller avec eux. 
Ils ne cesserent point de tirer sur moy, et 
comme j'entray dans leurs corps, un chef 
des Mahingans m'embrassa, prenant le col- 
lier que j'avois a la main, et s'escria : " C'est 
un Francois." 

Malgre ce que faisoient les Mahingans 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

the friend of the Iroquois, I will die to- 
morrow with you; I will fight him with 
the young men who are with me." Upon 
this reply they all declared me their com- 
rade. This being settled, scouts were sent 
out, who, upon their return, reported that 
the army consisted of six or seven hundred 
men. The young men spent the night in 
feasting; the women and children were 
sent to a place six leagues below the village ; 
the next day the Iroquois were upon us. 
When the two armies were a half-league 
apart, the Illinois chiefs begged me to carry 
a necklace to the Iroquois and to try to 
make peace with them. " We see, plainly," 
they said, "that we shall be defeated, be- 
cause a part of our young men have gone 
to war and we have only bows and arrows." 
My position was embarrassing, inasmuch as 
I could not speak Iroquois; however, hop- 
ing to find some slave among them to whom 
I could make myself understood, I took a 
porcelain necklace and went, accompanied 
by an Illinois. When within gunshot of 
the Iroquois I exhibited the necklace, which 
serves among them as a summons to a par- 
ley. As soon as they saw us so near, they 
discharged at us a volley of musketry. 
Then I said to the Illinois: — "Go back. 
As for me, if I die for it, I will speak to 
the Iroquois to save your life." He went 




offers to 
fight the 

His mission 
to the 



Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

pour me defendre, un soldat du village des 
Onontagues me plongea un couteau dans 
la mamelle gauche, ou ils me couperent la 
coste et me despouillerent ayant mis mon 
chapeau au bout d'un fuzil. L' Illinois qui 
m'avoit accompagne ayant veu le traitement 
que F Iroquois m'avoit fait et mon chapeau 
au bout du fuzil creut que j'estois mort et 
fut porter cette nouvelle a leur camp. L' Il- 
linois se mit en devoir de donner; le sieur 
de Boisrondet et Estienne Renault se 
mirent a la teste, pendant que les chefs de 
guerre des Iroquois avoient forme un cercle 
ou ils s'estoient assis. Ils m'avoient fait asseoir 
devant eux. Ils s' inform erent de moy ce 
qui m'amenoit devers eux, par le moyen 
d'un Sokokis qui parloit Francois ; je leur 
fis response que j'estois fort surpris de les 
voir en guerre contre leurs freres ; que M. 
le comte de Frontenac avoit adopte les 
Illinois pour ses enfans aussy bien qu'eux. 
II s'eleva un bruit parmy eux. C'estoit un 
Iroquois qui portoit nouvelle que l'lllinois 
avoit fait ployer leur aile gauche, que les 
Francois estoient a leur teste, qu'il y avoit 
eu neuf hommes blessez de coups de fleches 
et un tue d'un coup de fusil. Je vous assure, 
Monsieur, que jamais je n'ay este si embar- 
rasse ; car dans le temps qu'on apporta cette 
nouvelle, il y avoit derriere moy un Iro- 
quois, lequel tenoit un couteau a la main et 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 




back out of range and I continued to go September, 

to them. They did not cease to fire upon 

me, but, as I was entering among them, 

a Mohegan chief, taking the necklace I 

held in my hand, embraced me and cried 

out: — "It is a Frenchman." 

Notwithstanding what the Mohegans did 
to defend me, a warrior of the village of the 
Onondagas plunged a knife into my left 
breast, severing a rib ; they then robbed me 
and stuck my hat on the end of a gun. 
The Illinois who had accompanied me, per- 
ceiving how I was treated by the Iroquois, 
and seeing my hat upon the end of a gun, 
imagined that I was dead and carried the 
report into camp. The Illinois prepared 
to charge; the Sieur de Boisrondet and 
Estienne Renault placed themselves at their 
head. Meanwhile the Iroquois war-chiefs 
had seated themselves in a circle, and had 
made me sit down before them. Making 
use of a Sokokis* who could speak French P ar h- 
as an interpreter, they inquired of me what 
had led me to them. I replied that I was 
much surprised to see them at war with 
their brothers; that the Comte de Fronte- 
nac had adopted the Illinois, as well as 
themselves, as his children. There arose a 
noise among them. It was occasioned by 
an Iroquois who brought word that the 


*Or Saco. — Translator. 




Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

de temps en temps me levoit les cheveux 
par derriere. Je creus pour lors qu'il n'y 
avoit plus de -quartier pour moy et que la 
plus grande esperance que je pouvois avoir 
estoit qu'il me cassassent la teste, car je 
croyois qu'ils me brusleroient. M'estant 
tourne du coste de celuy qui me tenoit les 
cheveux, les chefs me firent dire que je 
n'avois que faire de craindre, et de leur dire 
le nombre d' Illinois et de Francois qui 
estoient avec eux, et quoyqu'ils n'estoient 
que cinq cents hommes, je leur supposay 
l'armee de onze cents et cinquante Francois 
joints a eux. Cela les inquieta et ils me 
jeterent un collier pour que je disse a l'llli- 
nois de se retirer chez luy; qu'ils avoient 
faim et qu'ils eussent a leur porter du bled. 
Jamais je n'ay eu une si grande joye, et 
ayant fait retirer les deux armees, je fus 
porter ledit collier aux Illinois, lesquels se 
retirerent vers leur village et moy avec eux. 
Je trouvay en chemin le R. P. Zenoble, 
lequel venoit me chercher, esperant trouver 
en moy quelque sentiment de vie et me 
donner toutes les assistances spirituelles. 
Comme l'lroquois suivoit l'lllinois, ils me 
prierent de leur envoyer dire de ne pas 
avancer. J'y envoyay le R. P. Zenoble, 
n'y pouvant aller moy-mesme a cause de 
ma blessure; nous traversasmes la riviere a 
gue et fusmes au village, et apres m'estre 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

Illinois had driven back their left wing, 
that the French were at their head, that 
nine men had been wounded by arrows and 
one killed by a gunshot. I assure you, Sir, 
that I have never been so much at a loss; 
for, at the moment when this news came, 
there stood behind me an Iroquois, knife in 
hand, who from time to time seized me by 
the hair. I then believed that there was 
to be no quarter for me, and my greatest 
hope was that they would knock me in the 
head, for I thought they meant to burn 
me. As I turned toward him who was 
holding me by the hair, the chiefs assured 
me that I had nothing to fear, and asked 
me to tell them the number of the Illinois 
and of the Frenchmen who were with 
them. Although there were only five hun- 
dred, I asserted that they had an army of 
eleven hundred men, besides fifty French- 
men. This disturbed them and they threw 
me a necklace, requesting me to ask the 
Illinois to return to their village and to 
bring them corn, for they were hungry. 
Never have I experienced so great a joy, 
and, having caused the two armies to fall 
back, I carried the necklace to the Illinois, 
who retired to their village and I with 
them. On the way, I met the Reverend 
Father Zenoble, who was coming to look 
for me, hoping to find in me some sign of 









Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

couche dans une cabane, je fus surpris que 
les Iroquois y furent aussytost comme moy, 
et les Illinois ensuite, lesquels furent joindre 
leurs femmes. Les Iroquois firent un fort 
dans le village et se rafraischirent des vivres 
qu'ils y trouverent. Deux jours apres, les 
Illinois parurent sur le costeau a demi-lieue 
du village. Les Iroquois qui ne cher- 
choient que le moyen de les amuser me 
convierent d'aller chercher un Illinois pour 
faire leur paix. Je leur demanday un Iro- 
quois pour leur servir d'ostage, et, me 
l'ayant accorde, je le conduisis sur le costeau 
et amenay un Illinois avec moy dans le fort, 
lequel retourna le lendemain, et 1' Iroquois 
revint. Jusqu'au 18, il y eut tousjours de 
grands pourparlers de paix. Les Illinois 
estoient tous les jours dans leurs forts, puis 
ils se firent des presens et mesme les Illinois 
leur rendirent quelques esclaves Iroquois 
qu'ils avoient parmy eux. Je les fis avertir 
par le R. P. Zenoble que si le 19 ils n'alloient 
pas chez eux, qu'ils eussent a se merrier et 
qu'assurement P Iroquois leur joueroit un 
mauvais tour. Sur le soir, les chefs m'en- 
voyerent querir avec le P. Zenoble, et, ayant 
estendu six paquets de castor, ils me dirent 
qu'ils me donnoient cela, afin que je ne 
fusse pas fache de ma blessure, que c'estoit 
un estourdy qui m'avoit frappe. Je leur 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

life and to render me every spiritual service. 
As the Iroquois were following the Illinois, 
the latter begged me to send word to them 
to advance no farther. Not being able to 
go myself on account of my wound, I sent 
the Reverend Father Zenoble. We forded 
the river and, having reached the village 
and lain down in a hut, I was surprised to 
see that the Iroquois had got there as soon 
as I; the Illinois, who were behindhand, 
went off to join their women. The Iro- 
quois fortified the village and refreshed 
themselves upon the victuals they found. 
Two days later, the Illinois appeared upon 
a hill a half-league from the village. The 
Iroquois, who were only seeking to gain 
time, asked me to bring them an Illinois 
that they might make peace. I demanded 
an Iroquois to serve as a hostage and, being 
granted one, I led him to the hill and 
brought back with me an Illinois into the 
fort; the latter returned the next day, and 
the Iroquois came back. Until the 18 th, 
there were great and continual negotia- 
tions for peace. The Illinois were in their 
forts every day; they made each other 
presents, and the Illinois even returned 
some Iroquois slaves whom they had among 
them. I sent them word by the Reverend 
Father Zenoble that if, on the 19th, they 
did not retire, they must be on their guard, 





the village. 




Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

fis demander quand ils s'en iroient; m'ayant 
respondu qu'ils vouloient manger les Illi- 
nois, je rebutay leur present avec le pied, ce 
qui est un grand affront parmy eux. Le 
mesme chef me prit par le bras et me dit: 
"Retire-toy." Aussytost ils chanterent 
leurs chansons de guerre. Nous connusmes 
pour lors qu'il n'y avoit plus de quartier 
pour nous. Neantmoins ils ne nous firent 
point de mal et nous firent embarquer le 
lendemain pour nous retirer, nous deman- 
dant une lettre pour M. le comte de Fron- 
tenac, afin qu'il vist par la qu'ils ne nous 
avoient pas tuez. Je leur en donnay une 
par laquelle je lui mandois l'estat des choses. 
Le 21, comme nostre canot faisoit beau- 
coup d'eau et que nous faisions secher nos 
hardes et quelques pelleteries, le R. P. Ga- 
briel disant son office loin de la cabane, 
nous fusmes surpris que, sur les six heures 
du soir, il ne revenoit pas. Je fus le cher- 
cher et ay ant trouve sa piste, je la suivis 
pendant une demi-lieue, et l'ayant trouvee 
entrecoupee de plusieurs autres, je m'en 
retournay a la cabane, et comme nous ne 
doutions pas qu'il avoit este pris ou tue, je 
jugeay a propos de laisser nostre equipage 
et de traverser de l'autre bord vis-a-vis. 
Nous fismes bon quart pendant la nuit et 
aperceusmes plusieurs personnes en nostre 
equipage, lesquelles allumerent du feu. Le 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

and that the Iroquois would certainly play 
them a bad trick. Toward evening, the 
chiefs sent for me and for the Reverend 
Father Zenoble, and, having spread out six 
bales of beaver-skins, said they would give 
me these in order that I should not be 
angry about my wound, inasmuch as it was 
a blundering fellow who had stabbed me. 
I enquired when they intended to go away, 
and, receiving the answer that they meant 
first to devour the Illinois, I spurned their 
gift with my foot, — a great affront among 
them. The same chief took me by the 
arm and said "Begone!" Upon this they 
sang their war-songs. By this we under- 
stood that there was to be no quarter for 
us. Nevertheless, they did us no harm, 
but made us embark the next day for our 
departure, first asking for a letter for the 
Comte de Frontenac, as proof that they 
had not slain us. I gave them one, where- 
in I announced to him the state of affairs. 
On the 2 1 st, as our canoe was leaking 
badly, we stopped to dry our clothing and 
some skins. The Reverend Father Gabriel 
having gone some distance from camp to 
say his prayers, we were surprised when at 
six o'clock he did not return. I went to 
seek him and followed his trail for a half- 
league, when, finding it confused with the 
footprints of many others, I returned to 




kicks the 

ance of 

4 6 


Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

lendemain nous traversasmes et nous res- 
tasmes la jusqu' a midy. Voyant qu'il ne 
venoit personne, nous partismes dans le des- 
sein de faire de petites journees, car nous 
supposions que le Pere pouvoit s'estre 
escarte et que nous pourrions le retrouver au 
bord de l'eau. Et le lendemain, sur le soir, 
ayant entendu un coup de fusil dans le bois 
proche de nous, nous ne doutasmes point 
d'estre suivis, c'est pourquoy nous fismes 
une bonne garde, et ayant entre dans une 
petite riviere qui alloit a nostre route, j'y 
tuay un boeuf, et m'estant charge de viande 
que je portay pendant une demi-lieue avec 
beaucoup de peine, j'en eus la fievre tierce. 
Renault, le meilleur de mes canoteurs, vou- 
lut me quitter pour s'en aller par terre. Je 
luy donnay carte blanche; mais le P. Ze- 
noble l'obligea a rester. Nous fismes nostre 
portage, et eusmes assez de malheur de 
prendre la coste du nord du lac des Illinois, 
car M. de La Salle, qui venoit me trouver, 
estoit du coste du sud. Apres quelques 
acces de fievre, les jambes et le corps m'en- 
flerent. La veille de la Toussaint nous 
fusmes pris d'un vent du large qui nous jeta 
a la coste, de maniere qu'il fallut abandon- 
ner nostre equipage. Je fus oblige de le 
laisser garder au sieur de Boisrondet, et 
comme nous croyions n'estre qu'a huit 
lieues du village des Poutouatamis, je pris 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 



camp. Not doubting that he had been September, 
taken or killed, I thought it safest to leave 
our effects and to cross to the other side of 
the river. We kept a good watch during 
the night and saw a number of persons in 
our camp, who lighted a fire. In the 
morning we went back and remained there 
until noon. As no one came, we departed, 
intending to travel by short stages; for we 
supposed the Father might have gone 
astray, and that we might find him some- 
where along the river. The next day, 
toward evening, hearing the report of a 
gun in the woods near us, we made no 
doubt of being pursued, and so kept a sharp 
lookout. While running up a small river 
which was on our route, I killed a bullock, 
and, in consequence of carrying the meat 
for a half-league (which I did with great 
difficulty), I was taken with the tertian 
fever. Renault, the best of my canoemen, 
wished to leave me and go forward on foot. 
I gave him entire freedom, but Father 
Zenoble prevailed upon him to remain. 
We accomplished our portage, but were so 
unfortunate as to take the north side of the Tonty takes 
lake of the Illinois; for M. de La Salle, the , wr ° n { 
who was coming to meet me, was on the 
south side. After several fever-fits, my legs 
and body became swollen. On All-saints' 
eve, we were caught by a wind from the 


The ter- 

side of the 

4 8 

Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

<*' r V>J 

Novembre resolution de m'en aller par terre audit vil- 
lage, duquel nous estions distans de vingt 
lieues. Le i er Novembre nous nous mis- 
mes en marche, et ayant pris pour un jour 
de vivres dans l'esperance de nous y rendre, 
nous en laissasmes pour dix jours au sieur 
de Boisrondet. 

L'incommodite de mon enflure m'ostant 
le moyen de marcher a cause de grandes 
ravines qu'il nous falloit traverser, cela fut 
cause que nous ne mangeasmes que de Tail 
sauvage jusqu'au jour de la Saint-Martin, 
que nous trouvasmes la peau et les quatre 
pieds d'un chevreuil que les loups venoient 
de devorer; nous en fismes la feste dans le 
village des Poutouatamis, lesquels l'avoient 
abandonne pour aller a la baye des Puans, 
a cause qu'ils avoient peur des Iroquois. 
Cet abandonnement redoubla nostre chagrin, 
nous voyant sans aucun secours. Nous 
trouvasmes par bonheur quantite de citrou- 
illes pourries dont nous fismes un amas pour 
tascher a gagner Missilimakinak. Nous 
mangeasmes mesme dans ledit village des 
courroies qui attachoient les perches de leurs 
cabanes et quelques cotons, des bleds d'Inde 
que nous faisions rostir dans le feu, et mesme 
ayant trouve un bouclier de peau de boeuf, 
nous l'emportasmes pour le manger. Comme 
nous avions mis nos petites provisions dans 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 


ings and 

open lake which cast us upon the coast, so November, 
that we had to abandon our boat. I was l68 °- 
obliged to leave the Sieur de Boisrondet ^*^* 
to guard it, and, thinking we were within 
eight leagues of the village of the Potta- 
wattamies, I made up my mind to go on 
foot to this village, from which we were 
in reality twenty leagues distant. On the 
first of November we set out and, taking 
provisions for one day, in the hope of 
reaching our destination, we left to the 
Sieur de Boisrondet provisions for ten days. 
My swollen condition making it impos- 
sible for me to march, on account of the 
great ravines we had to cross, we were 
obliged to subsist on wild garlic until Mar- 
tinmas, when we found the skin and the 
four feet of a roe-deer, which had just been 
devoured by the wolves. Upon this we made 
our Martinmas feast in the Pottawattamie 
village, the inhabitants having fled to the 
Baye des Puans* for fear of the Iroquois. 
This abandonment increased our disappoint- 
ment, as we found ourselves without re- 
sources. By good luck we found a number 
of decayed pumpkins of which we made a 
hoard in the hope of reaching Missilimak- 
inak. While in this village we even ate the 


*The Bay of the Stinkards, or of the Stinking 
Waters : Green Bay. — Translator. 


50 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Novembre, une cabane sur le bord du lac, et que nous 
]1 !^' . estions cabanez sur un costeau, nous avions 
resolu de partir promptement, et un de nos 
plus grands chagrins estoit d'abandonner le 
sieur de Boisrondet, a qui nous ne pouvions 
donner nul secours. Comme nous portions 
le reste de nos vivres, Ton entendit une voix 
dans la cabane ou estoient nos citrouilles. 
C estoit le sieur de Boisrondet, lequel ayant 
aperceu un canot que nous avions accom- 
mode et que nous avions trouve dans le vil- 
lage, eut envie d'entrer dans la cabane, et 
ayant trouve nos citrouilles, il en fit un grand 
degast, croyant que nous luy avions faict cet 
amas pour son voyage, et que nous estions 
partis. Nous eusmes une joie extresme de 
le voir, et beaucoup de tristesse de voir nos 
citrouilles beaucoup diminuees depuis trois 
jours qu'il estoit arrive, sans que nous en 
sceussions rien. Enfin nous nous embar- 
quasmes, et, apres trois lieues de navigation, 
il s'eleva un vent du large, et comme nostre 
canot estoit extremement volage, crainte de 
perdre nos vivres, je fis debarquer. Aussy- 
tost que j'eus mis pied a terre, j'aperceus des 
pistes d'homme toutes fraisches avec un 
grand chemin et la carcasse d'une cabane 
qui ne faisoit que de partir. Le Reverend 
Pere Zenoble et Renault suivirent ce chemin 
pendant une lieue, lequel aboutissoit dans la 
baye des Puans; ils m'en vinrent apporter la 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 5 1 

thongs which fastened the poles of their November, 
lodges; also, some stalks of Indian corn, l68 °- 
which we roasted; and finding an ox-hide ***** 
shield we carried it with us for food. We The hoard 
had placed our little stock of provisions in a ofpump- 
lodge on the shore of the lake and were ****• 
ourselves encamped upon a hill. We had 
decided to set out at once, and one of our 
greatest sorrows was the abandonment of 
the Sieur de Boisrondet, to whom we could 
extend no help. As we were carrying down 
the last of our provisions, we heard a voice 
in the lodge where our pumpkins were. It 
was the Sieur de Boisrondet who had seen 
the canoe which we had found in the vil- 
lage and had repaired, and who, entering 
the lodge, had found our pumpkins, of 
which he had made great havoc, thinking 
we had gone on leaving this store for his 
journey. We were extremely glad to see 
him, although much chagrined to see our 
store of pumpkins greatly diminished. He 
had been there three days without our 
knowledge. Finally we embarked, but 
after sailing three leagues, finding our 
canoe extremely crank and a wind from 
the lake arising, I gave orders to disembark 
for fear of losing our provisions. No 
sooner had I landed than I saw fresh foot- 
prints of men, with a broad path and the 
frame of a lodge that had just been taken 


5 2 

Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Novembre, nouvelle; nous jugeasmes tous que ce devoit 
*f^°* estre un petit lac, et nous resolusmes de faire 
portage, ce que nous fismes le lendemain, 
et ayant pris la droite, a deux lieues de la 
nous trouvasmes une semblable cabane, ce 
qui nous fit croire que c'estoit toujours le 
mesme; mais le lendemain, ayant navigue 
pendant cinq lieues, il s'eleva un vent norou- 
est traversier de la baye, lequel dura cinq 
jours avec une grande poudre de neige. 
Nous consommasmes nos vivres et, ne sca- 
chant plus que devenir, nous resolusmes de 
retourner au village pour mourir chaude- 
ment dans une cabane a cause qu'il y avoit du 
bois. Nous en prismes la route, et, en arri- 
vant dans l'autre portage, nous aperceusmes 
de la fumee, ce qui nous causa une joye qui 
fut courte; car, en arrivant au feu, nous n'y 
trouvasmes personne. Nous y passasmes la 
nuit, pendant laquelle l'eau gela. Nous 
fismes nos efforts le lendemain pour casser 
les glaces, ce qui nous fut impossible, et cela 
nous fit prendre resolution de coucher au dit 
lieu pour faire des souliers, afin de pouvoir 
gagner le village. Nous en fismes du man- 
teau du Reverend Pere Gabriel. Je me 
faschay contre Renault qui n'avoit pas acheve 
les siens; mais il s'excusa sur son infirmite, 
ayant une grande oppression de poitrine a 
cause qu'il n'avoit pu digerer un morceau 
de bouclier. Le lendemain 4 Decembre, 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 


down. The Reverend Father Zenoble and November, 
Renault followed this path for a league and J^.. 
brought back the report that it led to what 
we all took to be a small lake, which was 
in reality Green Bay. We decided to 
make the portage, and did so the following 
day. Sailing toward the right, we found 
at a distance of two leagues a similar 
lodge, and were led to believe it to be the 
very same. The next day, after we had 
sailed five leagues, there arose a northwest 
wind blowing across the bay, and bringing 
a storm of fine snow which lasted for five 
days. Our victuals were consumed and, 
not knowing what to do, we decided to re- 
turn to the village to die warm in a lodge, for Determi- 
there was wood. We took the backward n f on t0 

die warm. 

route, and, arriving at the other portage, we 
caught sight of smoke; but our joy was 
short, for upon reaching the fire we found 
no one. We spent the night there, and 
before morning the water froze. The next 
day, after having vainly attempted to break 
the ice, we decided to remain here another 
night and make shoes, that we might reach 
the village on foot. We made them of 
the cloak of the Reverend Father Gabriel. 
I became angry with Renault for not fin- 
ishing his shoes; but he excused himself 
on the plea of illness, as he was suffering Renault's 
from a severe pain in the chest, caused by indigestion. 



54 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Decembre, comme je le pressois d'achever ses souliers 
et qu'il s'excusoit toujours sur sa maladie, 
son retardement fut cause de nostre sauvete; 
car des Sauvages Kiskakons, lesquels cher- 
choient les Poutouatamis, ayant aperceu 
nostre fumee, vinrent a nous par terre, et 
quand nous les eusmes veus nous fismes un 
feu de joye non pareil. lis nous embar- 
querent dans leurs canots et nous menerent 
au village des Sauvages, lequel n'estoit dis- 
tant de nous que de deux lieues. Nous y 
trouvasmes cinq Francois qui nous receurent 
humainement, et tous les Sauvages qui se 
firent un plaisir de nous envoyer des vivres, 
de maniere que d'une grande disette ou nous 
estions, nous nous trouvasmes dans l'abon- 
dance apres trente-quatre jours d'un jeusne 
extraordinaire. Nous hyvernasmes avec les 
Sauvages, lesquels se firent un plaisir de nous 
assister dans nostre misere. 

Le printemps estant venu, je pris la route 
de Missilimakinak et trouvay en chemin un 
canot que M. de La Salle m'envoyoit avec 
des rafraischissemens. J'ay appris de ceux 
qui le menoient que M. de La Salle avoit 
fait plusieurs voyages, tant par eau que par 
terre, pour nous chercher, et que, sur quel- 
que indice qu'il eut des Sauvages, lesquels 
lui dirent qu'ils avoient veu des pistes des 
Francois du coste du nord, et que les ayant 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 55 

his inability to digest a bit of the shield. December, 
The next day, the 4th of December, as I l68 °- 
was urging him to finish his shoes and he 
was still pleading illness, his delay was the 
cause of our salvation; for some Kiskakon 
Savages, who were looking for the Potta- 
wattamies, seeing our smoke, came to us 
by land. When we saw them, we made 
an extraordinary bonfire. They embarked 
with us in their canoes and conducted us savage 
to the village, which was at a distance of hospitality. 
only two leagues. There we found five 
Frenchmen, who received us humanely, 
and the whole tribe of Savages, who mani- 
fested great pleasure in supplying us with 
food; so that, after thirty-four days of ex- 
traordinary fasting, we passed from starva- 
tion to abundance. We wintered with the 
Savages, who were pleased to succor us in 
our distress. 

Spring having arrived, I set out for Mis- 
silimakinak, and on the way fell in with a 
canoe which had been sent by M. de La 
Salle with supplies for me. From these 
men I learned that M. de La Salle had 
made several journeys, both by land and by La Salle's 
water, in search of us; and that he had %^f^J 
been led to send this canoe for us by 
some reports of the Savages, who told him 
they had seen traces of Frenchmen toward 
the north, and that, having followed the 


56 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

La Feste- suivies, ils avoient conneu qu'ils estoient en 
Dieu ' disette parce qu'ils ne mangeoient que des 

Ky^sT\j sureaux ou de Tail qu'ils grattoient dessous 
la neige, ce qui fit prendre resolution a M. 
de La Salle de les envoyer pour apprendre 
de nos nouvelles. Ils me dirent aussy que 
les Iroquois ayant poursuivi les Illinois, 
avoient fait esclaves cent femmes et enfans. 
Je continuay ma route et j'arrivay la veille 
de la Feste-Dieu a Missilimakinak, et M. 
de La Salle arriva le lendemain. II me 
tesmoigna qu'il avoit dessein de venir a bout 
de sa descouverte, et qu'il alloit descendre 
au fort de Frontenac pour aller querir les 
choses necessaires dans une pareille entre- 
prise, de maniere que nous fusmes jusqu'au 
pays des Iroquois, dans un petit lac nomme 
Toronto, et M. de La Salle m'ayant laisse 
dans une isle avec trois hommes, il continua 
son chemin jusqu'au fort de Frontenac ac- 
compagne du Pere Zenoble; mais n'ayant 
pas trouve ce dont il avoit besoin audit fort, 
il fut oblige de descendre a Montreal. 
M'ayant envoye dans le brigantin ce qu'il 
avoit pu trouver au fort, et le Pere Zenoble 
me rendant des lettres par lesquelles M. de 
La Salle m'ordonnoit d'aller aux Miamis et 
d'y rassembler le plus de Sauvages et de 
Francois que je pourrois, je m'y rendis le 
10 Novembre. M. de La Salle m'y joignit 
le 19 Decembre, de maniere que, la riviere 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

trail, they had known these Frenchmen to 
be in a starving condition because they had 
nothing to eat but elderberries, or garlic 
which they dug up from under the snow. 
They also informed me that the Iroquois 
had pursued the Illinois and had enslaved 
a hundred women and children. Contin- 
uing my journey, I reached Missilimakinak 
on the eve of Corpus Christi day, M. de 
La Salle arriving the next day. He in- 
formed me that it was his intention to 
complete his discovery, and that he was 
now on his way to Fort Frontenac to ob- 
tain supplies requisite for such an under- 
taking. So we went together as far as the 
country of the Iroquois, to a small lake 
named Toronto, where, leaving me upon 
an island with three men, M. de La Salle 
continued his journey to Fort Frontenac, 
accompanied by Father Zenoble; but, not 
finding at the Fort what he needed, he was 
obliged to descend to Montreal. He sent 
me in the Brigantine what he had been 
able to find at the Fort; and Father Zeno- 
ble brought me letters in which M. de La 
Salle ordered me to go to the Miamis, and 
there to get together as many Frenchmen 
and Savages as possible. I reached the 
Miami* on the ioth of November. On 

*The St. Joseph. — Translator. 






La Salle's 



Tonty sets 
out again. 


58 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Decembre, estant prise, nous fusmes obliges d'attendre 
jusqu'au 21 en esperance qu'elle depren- 
droit, ce qui n'arrivant pas nous obligea de 
prendre la route du lac pour entrer dans une 
certaine petite riviere que Ton appelle Chi- 
cago. De cette riviere Ton fait un portage 
d'une lieue et demie, laquelle vous conduit 
dans une autre riviere qui tombe dans celle des 
Illinois, et comme je trouvay tout glace, je fis 
faire des traisneaux pour mener nostre affaire. 
M. de La Salle me joignit le 14 Janvier 
et continua ma traisnee, de maniere qu'es- 
tant arrive a la riviere des Illinois, un de 
nos chasseurs ayant trouve des pistes de 
Francois m'en donna advis. Sur quoy on 
en fit recherche, parce que c'estoient huit 
hommes que j'avois envoy ez en chasse, et 
quand on les eut trouvez, ils nous vinrent 
joindre, ce qui augmenta nostre nombre, 
lequel se trouva pour lors de vingt-trois Fran- 
cois et dix-huit Sauvages, Mahingans ou 
Abenakis et Sokokis, dix de leurs femmes 
qui les accompagnoient et trois petits en- 
fants. Je crois, Monsieur, qu'il est a propos 
que je vous donne les noms de ceux qui 
ont essuye les travaux d'une si grande en- 

Noms des Francois. 

M. de La Salle, commandant pour le Roy a 
ladite descouverte. 

Le Reverend Pere Zenoble, Recollect. 

Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

the 19th of December, M. de La Salle 
joined me there. The river being frozen, 
we were obliged to wait until the 21st in 
the hope that it would thaw; and, as this 
did not take place, we were forced to take 
the lake route and to run into a certain lit- 
tle river called the Chicago. From this 
river, a portage of a league and a half con- 
ducts us to another which empties into the 
Illinois. As I found all frozen, I had sleds 
made to carry our outfit. 

On the 1 4th of January, M. de La Salle 
joined me and continued my sledding jour- 
ney, until, arriving at the Illinois River, 
one of my hunters notified me that he had 
found the tracks of Frenchmen. Thereupon 
search was made, for I had sent eight men 
in advance to hunt; and when we had 
found them they joined us, increasing our 
number, which amounted at that time to 
twenty-three Frenchmen, and eighteen Mo- 
hegan or Abenaki and Sokoki Savages, with 
ten of their women and three little child- 
ren. I think, Sir, it is well that I give you 
the names of those who have borne the 
labors of so great an enterprise. 

Names of the French. 
M. de La Salle, Commandant for the King 
in this Discovery. 

The Reverend Father Zenoble, Recollet. 
The Sieur de Tonty, Captain of Brigade. 



A certain 
little river 
called the 

60 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Le sieur de Tonty, capitaine de brigade. 

Le sieur de Boisrondet. 

Jacques Bourdon, sieur d'Autray. 

Jacques La Meterie, notaire. 

Jean Michel, chirurgien. 

Jacques Cochois. 

Anthoine Bassard. 

Jean Masse. 

Pierre You. 

Colin Crevel. 

Jean du Lignon. 

Andre Henault. 

Gabriel Barbier. 

Pierre Migneret*. 

Nicolas de La Salle. 

Andre Baboeuf. 

Pierre Buret. 

Louis Baron. 

Jean Pignabel. 

La Violette. 

Pierre Prud'homme, armurier. 

Noms des Sauvages. 

Le capitaine Clance. 












*Je vois ce nom ecrit ailleurs Menneret, Migurtt. 

Relation of Henri de Tonty. 6 1 

The Sieur de Boisrondet. 

Jacques Bourdon, Sieur d' Autray. 

Jacques La Meterie, Notary. 

Jean Michel, Surgeon. 

Jacques Cochois. 

Anthoine Bassard. 

Jean Masse. 

Pierre You. 

Colin Crevel. 

Jean du Lignon. 

Andre Henault. 

Gabriel Barbier. 

Pierre Migneret.* 

Nicolas de La Salle. 

Andre Babceuf. 

Pierre Buret. 

Louis Baron. 

Jean Pignabel. 

La Violette. 

Pierre Prud' homme, Armorer. 

Names of the Savages.^ 

Captain Clance. 









*I find this name elsewhere written Menneret, Mi- 
guret. — Margry. 

"{"There are but seventeen names in this list, while 
Tonty states that there were eighteen. — Translator. 


Relation de Henri de Tonty. 








1 Huronne. 

3 Nipissiriniennes. 

5 Abenaquises. 
1 Ochipoise. 
3 enfans. 

Apres nous traisnasmes nostre equipage 
soixante-dix lieues, scavoir vingt sur la 
riviere de Chicago et cinquante sur celle 
des Illinois. Estant arrivez au fort de Con- 
trecceur (sic), nous y trouvasmes la naviga- 
tion, et comme plusieurs de nos Sauvages 
furent obligez de faire plusieurs canots 
d'escorce d'orme, cela fut cause que nous 
n'arrivasmes que le 6 Fevrier au rleuve de 
Mississipi, qui fut nomme Colbert par M. 
de La Salle. L'on y compte cent lieues 
du village des Illinois, et son rumb de vent 
est presque toujours a l'ouest et surouest. 
A cause que nos Sauvages avoient este occu- 
pez a faire des canots et que les vivres nous 
manquoient, nous fusmes obligez de mettre 
une ligne a l'eau pour pescher de la barbue; 
nous en prism es une d'une grosseur extra- 
ordinaire, laquelle fournit de viande suffi- 
sante a vingt-deux hommes pour leur soupe. 
Nos Sauvages ayant acheve de faire leurs 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 










One Huron. 

Three Nipissings. 
Five Abenakis. 
One Ojibwa. 
Three Children. 

From this place, we dragged our out- 
fit for seventy leagues, — to wit, twenty 
upon the Chicago River, and fifty upon the 
Illinois. Arriving at Fort Contrecceur (sic), 
we found the river open for navigation; 
and our Savages having to construct some 
canoes of elm-bark, it was not until the 
6th of February that we reached the Mis- 
sissippi, which M. de La Salle named the 
Colbert. It is estimated to be one hundred 
leagues from the Illinois village, and its 
rhumb-line* is almost constantly to the 
west and southwest. While our Savages 
were employed in canoe-building, we fell 
short of provisions and were compelled to 
throw a line into the water for catfish ; one 


* The general course of navigation upon it. — 



The Mis- 



Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

canots, nous descendismes le fleuve et nous 
trouvasmes, a six lieues, sur la main droite, 
une riviere qui tombe dans le fleuve Col- 
bert, laquelle vient de l'ouest et paroist 
aussy grande et aussy considerable que la 
grande riviere, selon le rapport des Sauvages. 
Elle s'appelle Emissourita, abondante en 
peuples. II y a mesme des villages de 
Sauvages, lesquels se servent de chevaux 
pour aller en guerre et pour transporter la 
chair des boeufs qu'ils tuent a la guerre. A 
six lieues au-dessous, sur la gauche, nous 
trouvasmes un village de cent quatre-vingts 
cabanes, et comme tous les Sauvages estoi- 
ent allez a la chasse, M. de La Salle fit 
faire des marques pour leur donner a con- 
noistre que nous estions passez, y laissant 
quelques marchandises pendues a un poteau. 
Ce village s'appelle Tamaroa. Nous caban- 
asmes deux lieues au-dessous pour chasser; 
nous y tuasmes quelques chevreuils et en- 
suite continuasmes nostre chemin, et trou- 
vasmes a quarante lieues de la, sur la gauche, 
une riviere appellee par les Iroquois Oyo, 
laquelle vient de derriere le pays desdits 
Iroquois, et doit avoir cinq a six cents lieues 
de cours. Enfin, apres avoir passe quarante 
lieues d'un pays noye et de cabanes, les- 
quelles sont sur le rivage, nous arrivasmes, 
sur la mesme main, sur un costeau ou nous 
cabanasmes pour chasser; mais comme le 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 



The Mis- 

we caught was of enormous size, furnishing 
enough meat for a supper for twenty-two 
men. Our Savages having completed their 
canoes, we descended the river and encoun- 
tered on the right, at a distance of six 
leagues, a river flowing from the west into 
the Colbert, and apparently, as the natives 
reported, equal in size and importance to the 
Great River itself. It is called Emissourita, 
abounding in nations. There are even vil- 
lages of Savages who make use of horses in 
warfare and to transport the flesh of cattle 
which they kill in war. Six leagues farther 
down, on the left, we found a village of a 
hundred and eighty lodges. All the inhab- 
itants being away hunting, M. de La Salle 
caused signs to be made to let them know 
that we had passed, and we left some 
articles of merchandise hanging upon a 
stake. This village is called Tamaroa. 
Two leagues below we encamped to hunt, 
killing some roe-deer. Continuing our 
journey, we came, at a distance of forty 
leagues farther upon the left, to a river The Ohio 
called by the Iroquois Oyo, flowing from 
behind the land of the Iroquois in a course 
of some five hundred or six hundred leagues. 
Finally, after passing through forty leagues 
of an inundated country, with lodges here 
and there upon the bank, we reached a hill 
on the same side, where we encamped to 



Relation de Henri de Tonty. 


lieu n'estoit pas commode, nous descend- 
ismes trois lieues plus bas. Pierre Prud'- 
homme, qui n'avoit jamais chasse, eut envie 
d'aller a la chasse et dit en partant: "C'est 
pour le coup que je vais faire parler de 
moy." M. de La Salle luy recommanda 
de faire en sorte de ne se point escarter, et 
que, si par malheur cela luy arrivoit, il se 
reglast sur la boussole en tenant le nord- 
ouest, et qu'ainsy il reviendroit a la cabane. 
Le mesme jour, comme mon canot faisoit 
beaucoup d'eau et que je m'estois arreste 
pour le faire jeter, je trouvay une quantite 
de feves ou fayolles semees par terre. J 'en 
amassay plein un bonnet et les presentay a 
M. de La Salle, lequel eut de la peine a 
croire que cela venoit naturellement dans 
le pays. Nos Sauvagesses, les ayant veues, 
en furent chercher, et sur le soir en appor- 
terent environ un demi-minot, de maniere 
que M. de La Salle ne douta plus que cette 
sorte de legumes ne vinst naturellement. 
A la verite, il y en a une tres-grande 
quantite le long du rivage, et mesme la 
tige en est grosse comme le bras. Elle 
tourne a l'entour des arbres comme le lierre 
en France. Sur le soir, nos chasseurs estant 
arrivez, nous rapporterent avoir veu une 
quantite de pistes dans le bois. Pierre 
Prud'homme et Maskinampo, n'estant point 
revenus, nous causerent beaucoup de chagrin, 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 67 

hunt; but, the place being unsuitable, we February, 
descended three leagues farther. Pierre 
Prud'homme, who had never hunted, de- 
sired to go upon the chase, and said at hgmme 
setting forth: — "This time I mean to make thirsts for 
a name for myself." M. de La Salle -£■» M a 

1 r 1 hunter. 

advised him to be careful not to get lost; 
and, if that misfortune should occur, he 
was to take his course by the compass 
toward the northwest, which would bring 
him back to camp. The same day, as my 
canoe was leaking badly, I stopped to have 
it bailed out, and on the shore I found scat- 
tered upon the ground a quantity of beans 
or fayols. I gathered a hat-full of them, 
which I presented to M. de La Salle, who 
could hardly believe that they grew natur- 
ally in that country. Our Savage women, 
seeing them, went to look for more, and 
returned toward evening with about half a 
bushel of them, whereupon M. de La Salle 
no longer doubted that this sort of legumes 
grew naturally. There is indeed a great 
quantity along the bank, the stem being 
sometimes as large as one's arm. It winds 
about trees, like ivy in France. Toward 
evening our hunters returned and reported 
having seen a great number of footprints in p r ud'- 
the woods. As Pierre Prud'homme and homme 
Maskinampo did not return, we became 
very uneasy, supposing that they had been 


68 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Fevrier, croyant qu'ils avoient este pris par les 
l68z * Sauvages dont on avoit veu les pistes. Le 
jour suivant que 1 on retourna a la chasse, 
chacun estant de retour, rapporta avoir veu 
une cabane dans le bois, laquelle estoit 
abandonnee du jour mesme, ce qui fit que 
le lendemain M. de La Salle envoya des 
Sauvages et Francois dans le bois pour faire 
en sorte d'en pouvoir attraper quelqu'un. 
Maskinampo revint, lequel nous dit que, 
s' estant egare, il n'avoit pu venir plus tost, 
et qu'il avoit veu beaucoup de Sauvages qui 
estoient en chasse dans le bois, ce qui fut 
cause que M. de La Salle fit construire 
d'abord un fort pour nous mettre a couvert, 
et il m'envoya avec six hommes a dix lieues 
au bas de la riviere pour voir si je ne trou- 
verois point Pierre Prud'homme. 

Pendant mon absence, Gabriel Barbier, 
avec deux de mes Sauvages, en prit deux de 
la nation des Chicachas. L'on fut fort 
embarrasse, n'entendant pas leur langage. 
M. de La Salle prit la moitie de son monde 
pour aller audit village, et fit porter quel- 
ques marchandises pour tascher de ravoir 
nostre chasseur que nous croyions estre 
esclave parmy eux. Apres qu'il eust marche 
deux journees sans trouver le village, il se 
fascha contre ces deux Chicachas, lesquels, 
craignant d'essuyer son chagrin, firent con- 
noistre qu'il y avoit encore trois journees a 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

6 9 



taken by the Savages whose tracks had been 
seen. On the following day, every man on 
his return reported having seen in the 
woods a lodge which had been abandoned 
that very day; so the next day M. de La 
Salle sent Savages and Frenchmen into the 
woods in the hope of encountering some 
one. Maskinampo returned and told us 
that, having strayed away, he had not been 
able to get back sooner, and that he had 
seen many Savages who were hunting 
in the woods. Upon this report, M. de La 
Salle immediately caused a fort to be built Prud'- 
for our protection; and he sent me with homme - 
six men a distance of ten leagues down the 
river to see if I could not find Pierre 
Prud 'homme. 

During my absence Gabriel Barbier, with 
two of my Savages, captured two of the 
nation of the Chickasaws. As their language 
was unknown to us, it was difficult to com- 
municate with them. Taking half of his 
men, M. de La Salle set out for their vil- 
lage, carrying along some articles of mer- 
chandise with a view to regaining our 
hunter who, we thought, might be in 
slavery among them. After marching for 
two days without finding the village, he be- 
came angry with his two Chickasaws, who, 
fearing the consequences of his disappoint- 
ment, gave him to understand that they 



70 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Mars, marcher, ce qui obligea M. dc La Salle a 
rebrousser chemin; et ayant fait quelque 
present a Tun de ces Sauvages qui avoient 
este pris, il luy fit entendre de porter lesdits 
presents a son village, et qu'il les invitoit 
tous de se trouver sur le bord du fleuve, et 
garda l'autre pour ostage. 

Le huitiesme jour, M. de La Salle prit 
resolution de descendre le fleuve a trois 
lieues au-dessous du fort, lequel fut appele 
le fort a Prud'homme. L'on trouva le feu 
d'ou Prud'homme venoit de partir. L'on 
s'y arresta a chercher, et M. de La Salle 
m'en ayant donne advis par un canot, je le 
vins retrouver. Le 4 Mars, les Sauvages 
suivirent sa piste et quelques Francois avec 
eux. lis le trouverent sur un cajeu qu'il 
avoit fait pour descendre, afin de pouvoir 
joindre nos canots, et l'amenerent a la 
cabane. II nous raconta qu'il s'estoit esgare 
et qu'il y avoit dix jours qu'il n'avoit rien 
mange. Nous fusmes tous fort joy eux de 
le revoir et nous partismes le 5. Le 12, 
apres avoir fait naviguer cinquante lieues et 
fait petite chasse, a cause que le bordage de 
la riviere est garni de Cannes si espaisses 
qu'il est presque impossible d'entrer dans le 
bois, nous mangeasmes le reste de nos 
vivres, et, d'un temps de brume, nous en- 
tendismes du coste de la main droite de la 
riviere des cris de guerre a la facon des 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

7 1 

still had three days to march. Being obliged 
to return, M. de La Salle gave presents to 
one of the captured Savages, and made him 
understand that he was to carry these to his 
village and invite them all to meet us on 
the banks of the river. The other Savage 
he kept as a hostage. 

On the eighth day, M. de La Salle de- 
cided to descend the river to a place three 
leagues below the fort, which was named 
Fort Prud'homme. A fire was found 
which Prud'homme had just left. A halt 
was made to search and, M. de La Salle 
sending word to me by a canoe, I returned 
to meet him. On the 4th of March the 
Savages, with some Frenchmen, followed Prud 
Prud'homme's trail. They found him 
upon a raft, which he had made for the 
purpose of following our canoes down the 
river, and brought him into camp. He 
told us that he had gone astray, and had 
eaten nothing for ten days. We were all 
very glad to see him again, and on the 5th 
we set out. On the 1 2th, having travelled 
by boat for fifty leagues and found little 
game, the banks of the river being covered 
so thickly with cane that it is almost im- 
possible to enter the woods, we had con- 
sumed the last of our provisions when, the 
weather being foggy, we heard from the 
right bank war-cries, in the manner of the 





jz Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Mars, Sauvages et battre le tambour. M. de La 
l682, Salle ne douta point que ce ne fust un village. 
x ^ y * KJ Nous fismes un fort en moins de demi- 
heure. Pendant le temps qu'on le faisoit, 
je m'avancay vers une pointe, et, le temps 
s'estant esclaircy, je descouvris le village 
et leur demanday qui ils estoient. Mais 
comme la riviere estoit extremement large, 
ils ne pouvoient m'entendre. Ils s'embarque- 
rent dans une pirogue, et comme ils furent 
a la voix, je leur demanday en langage Illi- 
nois qui ils estoient. Un Illinois, qui estoit 
parmy eux, s'ecria: "Akansa," et me de- 
manda qui j'estois. Je luy fis respondre: 
"Miskigouchia," qui est le nom que nous 
donnent les Sauvages du sud. Ils vinrent a 
moy, et quand ils furent a portee, ils me 
decocherent une fleche arm de connoistre 
par la si nous estions en paix ou en guerre; 
mais comme je ne tiray point sur eux, ils 
vinrent a moy en toute seurete. 

M. de La Salle alia au-devant d'eux avec 
un calumet, et, apres qu'ils eurent fume 
dedans, Jean du Lignon et deux de nos 
Sauvages s'embarquerent dans leur pirogue 
et furent au village. Six de leurs chefs vin- 
rent au fort, ou ils apporterent le calumet. 
Apres nous avoir tous fait fumer dedans, ils 
receurent quelques presents et nous con- 
vierent d'aller a leur village. On s'embar- 
qua, on s'y en fut et Ton fit dresser une 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

Savages, and the beating of a drum. M. 
de La Salle did not doubt that this was a 
village. In less than half an hour we 
threw up an entrenchment. While this 
was being done, I advanced toward a point 
and, the fog having cleared, I discovered a 
village and asked them who they were. 
The river being extremely broad they 
could not, however, hear me. They em- 
barked in a pirogue and, when they had 
come within hearing, I asked them in the 
Illinois tongue who they were. An Illi- 
nois who was among them cried out, 
"Akansa," and asked me who I was. I 
made answer, "Miskigouchia," which is 
the name the Savages of the south give us. 
They approached me and, when within 
range, shot an arrow toward me in order 
to ascertain whether our errand was one of 
peace or war; but, as I did not fire upon 
them, they came to me in all confidence. 

M. de La Salle went toward them with 
a calumet and, after they had smoked from 
it, Jean du Lignon and two of our Savages 
embarked in their pirogue and crossed to 
their village. Six of their chiefs came to 
the fort bearing the calumet. After mak- 
ing us all smoke from it, they accepted 
some gifts and invited us to their village. 
We embarked and went, and a lodge was 
prepared for us. These Savages received 





74 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Mars, cabane pour nous. Ccs Sauvages nous re- 
l682, ceurent fort humainement, et apres nous 
* avoir regalez de tout ce que 1 on pouvoit 

esperer dans le village, ils danserent le cal- 
umet a M. de La Salle. M. de La Salle 
prit possession de la terre au nom de Sa 
Majeste Tres-Chrestienne et fit arborer les 
armes du Roy. On peut dire que ce sont 
les Sauvages les mieux faits de tous ceux 
que nous avons jamais veus. Ils se couvrent 
de peaux de cibolas. Leurs cabanes sont 
couvertes d'escorces d'arbres lesquels sont 
semblables aux cedres et qui ont plus de 
cent pieds de hauteur sans branches, des- 
quels ils font des pirogues qui vont aussi 
bien que des canots d'escorce. II y a chez 
eux des pesches en abondance, des coqs et 
des poules, et plusieurs fruits qui nous sont 
inconnus. Nous reconnusmes que ces gens 
estoient fort honnestes par la bonne recep- 
tion qu'ils firent au Chicacha qui estoit avec 
nous, quoyqu'ils soient toujours en guerre 
avec ceux de sa nation. Ils nous donnerent 
deux interpretes pour nous mener chez les 
Taensas, et, en chemin faisant, nous trou- 
vasmes deux villages de la nation Enansa.* 
Ayant passe le dernier village, nos Sauvages 
tuerent le premier crocodile. C'est l'en- 
droit ou finissent toutes les pelleteries de 
castors et de loutres, lesquels sont devorez 

* Akansa ? 

Relation of Henri de Tonty. 



us very civilly and, after having regaled us 
with everything that could be expected in 
the village, they danced the calumet before 
M. de La Salle. He took possession of 
the land in the name of his Most Christian 
Majesty, and hoisted the arms of the King. 
It may be affirmed that these are the best- 
formed Savages we have seen. They clothe 
themselves with buffalo skins. They thatch 
their lodges with the bark of a tree like 
the cedar, which reaches the height of a 
hundred feet without a branch, and of 
which they construct pirogues that run as 
well as bark canoes. They have peaches Natural 
in abundance, cocks and hens, and many Products 
fruits unknown to us. We ascertained the 
civility of these people by the good recep- 
tion they gave to the Chickasaw who was 
with us, although they are always at war 
with his nation. They gave us two inter- 
preters to conduct us to the Taensas, and 
on the way we passed two villages of the 
Enansa* nation. After passing the last 
village, our Savages killed the first alliga- 
tor. Here ends all trapping of beavers 
and otters, which are devoured by those 
animals. As to the buffalo, it is found all 
the way to the sea. 

Having taken the right bank of the 
river, we missed the Chickasaws on account 

♦Akansa? — Margry. 

j6 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Mars, par ces animaux. Pour ce qui est des 
1682. cibolas, on en trouve jusqu'a la mer. 

Ayant pris la droite de la riviere, nous 
manquasmes les Chicachas a cause d'une 
grande isle qui a pres de quatre-vingts 
lieues de long qui nous separa d'eux; et le 
22 nous arrivasmes aux Taensa, apres avoir 
navigue quatre-vingts lieues, et comme cette 
nation estoit situee sur un petit lac, nous 
nous cabanasmes a trois lieues du village. 
Je fus chez eux avec Pierre Prud'homme, 
le capitaine Classe (sic) et les deux autres 
Sauvages, nos interpretes. Nous y arrivas- 
mes de nuit, et les Akansas s'estant mis a 
chanter, les Taensas les reconnurent pour 
amis, et nous entrasmes en surete dans leur 
village. Jamais je n'ay este si surpris qu'en 
entrant dans la cabane du chef, parce que 
les autres Sauvages ne sont point bastis de 
la mesme maniere. L'on reconnoist a cette 
nation une partie des qualitez que possedent 
les gens policez. L'on nous fit d'abord 
entrer dans une cabane de 40 pieds de face; 
les murailles en sont de bouzillage, espaisses 
de deux pieds et hautes de douze. La 
couverture est faite en dome, de nattes de 
Cannes, si bien travaillees que la pluye ne 
perce point a travers. En entrant dedans, 
nous vismes le chef qui estoit assis sur un 
lit de repos. II y avoit plus de soixante 
vieillards vis a vis de luy, couverts de 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

of a great island, nearly eighty leagues 
long, which separated us from them. On 
the 22nd, after having sailed eighty leagues, 
we arrived among the Taensas ; and, as this 
nation was dwelling on the bank of a small 
lake, we encamped three leagues from their 
village. I went to them with Pierre Prud'- 
homme, Captain Classe (sic), and the two 
other Savages, our interpreters. Arriving 
at night our Akansas began to sing; the 
Taensas recognized them as friends, and we 
entered their village in safety. Never have 
I been so surprised as upon entering the 
dwelling of their chief, for the lodges of 
other Savages are not built in the same 
way. In this nation, one recognizes some 
of the qualities of civilized races. We 
were at first conducted into a house of 
forty feet front; the walls are of clay, two 
feet in thickness and twelve in height. 
The roof is dome-shaped, and is made of 
cane mats so well woven as to be rain- 
proof. Upon entering, we saw the chief 
seated upon a couch. Opposite him there 
were more than sixty old men covered 
with great white cloths, like the hammock- 
cloth made by the Savages of the Ameri- 
can islands. There was a torch of dried 
cane in the middle of the lodge, and the 
four walls were hung with shields of yellow 
copper and with a number of paintings. 




The Taen- 
sa Village.. 


The chief 
and the 

yS Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Mars, grandes nappes blanches semblables aux 

i68z. am as* que les Sauvages des isles de l'Ame- 

rique font. II y avoit un flambeau de Cannes 

seches au milieu de la cabane, laquelle 

estoit ornee de plusieurs boucliers de cuivre 

jaune attachez sur les quatre faces des 

murailles, de quantite de peintures, d'une 

alcove ou repose le chef, et de plusieurs lits 

de camp, sur lesquels reposent les chefs des 

huit villages qui sont situez sur le lac et 

qui dependent de luy. Tous ces vieillards 

qui estoient aupres de luy dans la dite 

cabane avoient leurs mains sur leurs testes 

et hurloient tous d'une voix comme des 

loups, criant: "Ho! ho! ho! ho!" Et, 

apres que le chef leur eut parle, ils s'assirent 

tous, et Ton nous fit asseoir sur une natte 

de canne qui estoit preparee sur la terre, 

qui estoit delicatement travaillee. Nostre 

interprete se leva debout, et apres avoir fait 

une harangue, il donna une robe de sibola 

dont il estoit couvert au chef, lequel le 

revestit de la sienne; et leur ayant fait con- 

noistre que nous estions venus faire alliance 

avec eux, et que celuy qui nous comman- 

doit avoit besoin de vivres, il commanda 

d'abord que Ton eust a dire a toutes les 

femmes de faire des farines de bled d'Inde 

et des pastes d'un certain fruit qu'ils appel- 

lent Paquimina, lequel est fort bon. Je 

* Hamacs. 

Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

There was an alcove where the chief 
sleeps, and several camp beds on which 
sleep the chiefs of the eight dependent 
villages situated upon the lake. All the old 
men about the chief had their hands upon 
their heads and were howling like wolves, 
crying with one voice : "Ho! ho! ho! ho!" 
And, the chief having addressed them, they 
all sat down ; and we were made to sit upon 
a delicately worked cane mat which was laid 
for us upon the ground. Our interpreter 
arose and, after a harangue, gave a burTalo- 
robe, with which he was clad, to the 
chief, who invested him with his ; and when 
we had made known that we were come 
to make an alliance with them, and that 
our commander was in need of victuals, he 
sent orders at once that all the women 
should make Indian meal and preparations 
of a certain fruit called by them Paqui- 
mina, which is excellent. I gave the chief 
a knife, which he received as a very con- 
siderable gift. He regaled us as best he 
could. I noticed that one of his little 
children, attempting to pass between the 
chief and the torch, was hastily drawn back 
by the mother and made to go around: this 
is a mark of respect which they show him. 
He was served by slaves. No one eats 
from his vessels except himself. They are 
of earthenware, well glazed, and made in 




A royal 


80 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Mars, donnay au chef un couteau qu'il receut 

l68z - comme un present fort considerable. II 

nous regala le mieux qu ll put, et je re- 

marquay qu'un de ses petits enfans voulant 

sortir passa entre le chef et le flambeau, fut 

retire brusquement par sa mere qui luy fit 

faire le tour: c'est la marque du respect 

qu'on luy porte. II fut servy par des es- 

claves. Qui que ce soit ne mange dans ses 

vaisseaux que luy. lis sont de terre, tres- 

bien vernis et faits en maniere de coupes. 

Leurs couteaux sont de pierre a fusil aussy 

bien que les haches. Je remarquay qu'il 

avoit seize perles fines pendues aux oreilles, 

et ayant dit a nostre interprete de leur 

demander ou ils les avoient trouvees, il 

respondit que c'estoit a la mer, dans des 

coquilles, et qu'il y en avoit beaucoup. 

Je partis faire ce recit a M. de La Salle 

de tout ce que j'avois veu, lequel m'engagea 

d'y retourner pour tascher d'avoir lesdites 

perles. II arriva cette journee quantite de 

canots chargez de vivres; on avoit une 

poule pour une alesne ou une aiguille. M. 

de La Salle, qui avoit toujours creu que 

ce fleuve tomboit dans la baye du Saint- 

Esprit, ayant pris hauteur avec son astrolabe, 

se trouva trente et un degrez; ce qui luy 

fit croire que nous estions dans le fleuve 

Abscondido,* comme il s'est trouve vray 

* Ou Escondido. 

Relation of Henri de Tonty. 8i 

the fashion of cups. Their knives, as well March, 
as their axes, are of flint. I noticed that l68z> 
he had sixteen fine pearls hanging from his ^^*^ 
ears, and asked our interpreter to inquire Sixteen 
where they had been found. He answered ^ large as 
that they were found in shells from the peas. 
sea, and that they were abundant. 

Returning to M. de La Salle, I told him 
the tale of what I had seen, and he urged 
me to go back and try to secure the pearls. 
That day there arrived a great number of 
canoes, laden with provisions; one could 
buy a pullet for an awl or a needle. M. 
de La Salle, who had always believed that 
this river flowed into the bay of Saint- 
Esprit, taking the altitude with his astro- 
labe, found it to be thirty-one degrees ; and 
this convinced him that we were in the 
Abscondido * river, as was afterward shown 
to be true. I returned then to the village 
with our interpreters and, having given the 
chief a bracelet, he presented me with those 
pearls, which were tarnished because of 
having been pierced with red hot iron. 
They were as large as peas ; I gave them to 
M. de La Salle. Four of our Savages, as 
well as our interpreters, were unwilling to 
go farther, for fear of the natives we should 
encounter; for it must be noted that the 
villages on the left bank of the river are 

*Or Escondido. — Margry. 

82 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Mars, par la suite. Je retournay done au village 
avec nos interpretes, et ayant donne un 


bracelet au chef, il me fit present de ces 
pedes, lesquelles estoient ternies a cause 
qu'ils les percent avec du fer rouge. Elles 
estoient grosses comme des pois; je les don- 
nay a M. de La Salle. Quatre de nos Sau- 
vages aussy bien que nos interpretes ne 
voulurent point passer outre a cause de la 
crainte des nations que nous devions trou- 
ver; car il faut noter que tous les villages 
qui sont situez sur la gauche du fleuve font 
guerre a ceux de la droite. Cela n'em- 
pescha pas que nous ne partismes le 25 et 
fusmes cabaner dans une isle a dix lieues 
de la. 

J'ay oublie de vous dire que les Taensas 
avoient une divinite, parce que nous avons 
veu un temple vis-a-vis de la cabane du 
chef, dans laquelle il y a une maniere 
d'autel et au sommet trois aigles qui re- 
gardent le soleil levant. Ce temple est 
enferme dans une maniere de redoute, ou 
ils mettent dessus la muraille les testes de 
leurs ennemis qu'ils ont tuez en guerre. 
On y fait garde jour et nuit. Ce fort n'est 
point regulier, mais il est tres-bien flanque 
a chaque angle; il y a des guerites de bois 

Le 26, au matin, estant sur l'eau, a deux 
lieues de nostre cabanage, nous aperceusmes 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

at war with those upon the right. For all 
that, we departed on the 25 th, and en- 
camped upon an island ten leagues below. 

I have forgotten to tell you that the 
Taensas had a divinity ; for we saw a temple 
opposite the chief's lodge. In it was a kind 
of altar, and upon the summit were fixed 
three eagles facing toward the rising sun. 
This temple is enclosed in a kind of redoubt, 
upon the wall of which they fix the heads 
of the enemies they have slain in war. 
Guard is kept there day and night. This 
fortification is not regular, but is very well 
flanked at every angle; there are watch- 
towers of hard wood. 

On the morning of the 26th, being on 
the water about two leagues from our 
camping-place, we saw a pirogue crossing 
the river. We gave chase, and my canoe, 
being the swiftest, outstripped the rest. 
When about to overtake the pirogue, I dis- 
covered to my great surprise that the river- 
bank was crowded with Savages armed with 
bows and arrows. Seeing my danger, M. 
de La Salle asked me to cross to the other 
side and, when we had landed, consulted 
with me about entering upon negotiations 
with this nation. I offered to be the bearer 
of the calumet, and to this he reluctantly 
consented, as it was necessary to speak with 
them. I embarked therefore in a canoe to 




The Taen- 
ia temple. 

bears the 
calumet to 


84 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Mars, une pirogue qui traversa la riviere. Nous 
luy donnasmes chasse; mon canot, qui alloit 
le mieux, devanca tous les autres, et comme 
j'estois prest a joindre la pirogue, je fus fort 
surpris de voir tout le bord garny de Sau- 
vages Tare et la fleche en main. M. de La 
Salle, voyant le danger ou je me trouvois, 
me pria de traverser de l'autre bord, et 
comme nous estions a terre, me demandant 
mon advis pour aborder cette nation, je 
m'offris de leur aller porter le calumet, ce 
qu'il eut de la peine a m'accorder. Neant- 
moins il estoit de necessite de leur parler. 
Je m'embarquay done dans un canot pour 
me soutenir en cas d'alarme. D'abord que 
j'eus mis pied a terre de l'autre bord, ou 
estoient les Sauvages, ils s'assirent. Je les 
fis tous fumer dans le calumet de paix et 
donnay un couteau a un vieillard, lequel 
me parut le chef. II le mit promptement 
dans sa robe, comme s'il avoit fait un larcin. 
Joignant les mains, je le contrefis, parce 
que cela signifie a leur maniere que Ton 
est amis. Je leur fis signe ensuite de passer 
deux de l'autre bord et que je resterois 
avec eux, ce qu'ils firent. Et apres qu'ils 
eurent veu M. de La Salle et appele deux 
de leurs gens qui estoient cachez dans le 
bois, ils retournerent avec tous les Francois 
ou j'estois demeure. Nous cabanasmes et 
M. de La Salle, ayant este convie d'aller a 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

support me in case of alarm.* As soon as 
I had set foot upon the bank where the 
Savages were, they sat down. I made them 
all smoke the calumet of peace, and to an 
old man, who seemed to be the chief, I 
gave a knife, which he thrust hastily into 
his robe as if he had committed a theft. 
He clasped his hands in sign of friend- 
ship, and I imitated him. Then I made 
signs that two of them should go to the 
other side, while I remained. This they 
did; and when they had seen M. de La 
Salle and called two of their people who 
were hidden in the woods, they returned 
with all the Frenchmen of our party to 
the side where I had remained. We en- 
camped, and M. de La Salle, being invited 
to their village, went with half his men 
while I staid at the camp, three leagues 
away. M. de La Salle passed the night 
at the village, which they call Nahy.^ 
During the night they sent for the chief 
of the Coroas, who travelled all night to 
see M. de La Salle and came with him 


* This is what Tonty says, but he does not always 
say what he means. Perhaps he wrote his memoirs 
with his iron hand, — a feat even more difficult than 
that of clasping his hands, as he tried to do a few 
moments later. — Translator. 

f Nache ? — Margry. According to Parkman, 
Natchez. — Translator. 



clasps his 
iron hand. 

86 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Mars, leur village, il partit avec la moitie de son 
monde et je restay a la cabane qui estoit 


esloignee de trois lieues, et M. de La Salle 
coucha au village. lis le nomment Nahy* 
Pendant la nuit ils envoyerent querir le 
chef des Coroha, lequel vint toute la nuit 
pour voir M. de La Salle, et ledit chef vint 
avec luy et dix hommes a nostre cabane. 
Le lendemain ils s'embarquerent tous dans 
nos canots avec nous pour aller a leur vil- 
lage, qui estoit a dix lieues. Nous fusmes 
avec une pluye continuelle. Quand nous 
fusmes arrivez chez eux, ils nous regalerent 
tout de leur mieux, et donnerent un calu- 
met a M. de La Salle. Je perdis en cet 
endroit-la un esclave que j'avois achete des 
Taensas, lequel se sauva la nuit avec sa 
mere. Ils estoient natifs de ce village. 
Apres que les Coroas nous eurent fait com- 
prendre qu'il y avoit encore dix journees a 
la mer, nous partismes le jour de Pasques 
et laissasmes sur la gauche un village des 
Hama, avec lesquels nous n'eusmes aucun 
commerce, et sur la droite dudit village une 
grandissime riviere, et sur la mesme main 
un chenal qui va a la mer, lequel en est 
distant de cinquante lieues. Ayant fait 
quatre-vingts lieues de navigation, le canot 
ou estoit le Pere Zenoble, lequel estoit le 
plus avance, aperceut sur la main droite 

* Nache ? 

Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

and ten men to our camp. The next day 
they all embarked with us in our canoes to 
go to their village, distant ten leagues. The 
weather was continuously rainy. Arriving, 
they feasted us as best they could, and pre- 
sented a calumet to M. de La Salle. In 
this place I lost a slave whom I had bought 
of the Taensas, who escaped at night with 
his mother. They were natives of this 
village. The Coroas having informed us 
that it was still ten days journey to the sea, 
we set forth on Easter day, leaving upon 
the left a village of the Hamas, with whom 
we had no dealings, and upon the right of 
this village a very great river, and upon 
the same side a channel running to the sea, 
a distance of fifty leagues. After we had 
sailed eighty leagues, the canoe in which 
was Father Zenoble, being in advance, 
came in sight of some Savages who were 
fishing from the bank on the right-hand 
side. Our people called to them, but the 
Savages, being afraid, fled to their village, 
and soon we heard the drum beating and 
the war-cry raised. We disembarked at 
the mouth of a small brook, where we 
threw up an angle of defense to shelter us 
from arrows. M. de La Salle sent out a 
reconnoitering party composed of Messrs. 
d'Autray, Haisnault, Migneret, and Bros- 
sard, who were received with volleys of 






The Kini- 
pissas raise 
the war- 

88 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Avril, quelques Sauvages qui peschoient au bord 
l68z - de l'eau. lis les appelerent; ayant eu peur, 
ils fuirent a leur village, et aussitost nous 
entendismes battre le tambour et faire des 
cris de guerre. Nous debarquasmes a un 
petit ruisseau ou nous dressasmes un angle 
pour nous mettre a couvert des fleches. M. 
de La Salle commanda les sieurs d'Autray, 
Haisnault, Migneret et Brossard pour aller 
a la descouverte, lesquels feurent receus a 
coups de fleches. Lesdits sieurs ayant fait 
leurs raports, quatre de nos Sauvages y 
voulurent aller, a qui pareille chose arriva. 
M. de La Salle, voyant que ces Sauvages 
n'estoient point traitables, nous fit rem- 
barquer et, ayant navigue deux lieues, nous 
aperceusmes un village sur la gauche. Nous 
fusmes pour l'aborder. II s'appelait Tan- 
gibaho, et celuy qui ne nous avoit pas voulu 
recevoir Kinipissa. Nous n'y trouvasmes 
que des cadavres: il y avoit environ vingt 
jours qu'ils avoient este defaits par les 
Chouchoumas. II y avoit du sang jusqu'a 
la cheville du pied et cinq grandes cabanes 
pleines de corps morts, et le reste du village 
consume par le feu. Ce village estoit dis- 
tant de trente lieues de la mer. Nous 
continuasmes nostre route et, le 6 Avril, 
nous arrivasmes a la mer. Le 7, comme 
cette riviere se divise en trois chenaux, M. 
de La Salle fut descouvrir celuy de la 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

arrows. These gentlemen having made 
their report, four of our Savages volun- 
teered to go, but met with the same recep- 
tion. Seeing that these Savages were not 
tractable, M. de La Salle ordered us to 
re-embark ; and, having sailed two leagues, 
we saw a village on the left, and landed 
there. It was named Tangibaho, and that 
which would not receive us, Kinipissa.* 
Here we found only corpses : about twenty 
days before, they had been defeated by the 
Chouchoumas. There was blood ankle- 
deep; five great lodges were filled with 
dead bodies, the rest of the town having 
been burned. This village was thirty leagues 
from the sea. Continuing our course, on 
the 6th of April we reached the sea. On 
the 7th, as the river is here divided into 
three channels, M. de La Salle went to 
explore that to the right. I took the mid- 
dle one, and the Sieur d'Autray the left. 
We found them fine, — broad and deep. 
Upon our return, on the 9th of April, M. 
de La Salle raised the arms of the King 
and a cross, and the Te Deum was sung. 
Three salutes were fired, and, after having 
buried in the earth a plate of lead engraved 
with the arms of His Majesty, M. de La 
Salle took possession of the river in the 
name of the very exalted and glorious 

*Or Quinipissa. — Translator. 



at Tangi- 

the mouth 
of the Mis- 

90 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

AvriI » droite, je fus a celuy du milieu, et le sieur 
^_J . d'Autray a celuy de la gauche. Nous les 
trouvasmes tres-beaux, larges et profonds. 
A nostre retour, le 9 Avril, M. de La Salle 
fit arborer les armes du Roy et une croix, 
et y chanta le Te Deum. On y fit trois 
descharges, et apres avoir mis en terre une 
plaque de plomb ou les armes de Sa Majeste 
estoient gravees, M. de la Salle prit posses- 
sion du fleuve au nom de tres-hault et tres- 
glorieux prince Louis le Grand, roy de 
France et de Navarre. Le 1 o nous remon- 
tasmes le fleuve. 

Comme les vivres nous avoient manque, 
cela fit prendre resolution a M. de La Salle 
d'aller au village des Quinipissa, de gre ou 
de force, et nous vivions pendant ce temps 
de quelques pommes de terre et de croco- 
diles, que nous trouvions rarement le long 
du rivage. Le 14 nous arrivasmes au vil- 
lage des Tangibaho. Nos Sauvages ayant 
aperceu de la fumee de l'autre bord, M. de 
la Salle y envoya la nuit a la descouverte 
les sieurs d'Autray, Haisnault, Brossart, avec 
quatre Sauvages, lesquels nous rapporterent 
sur la minuit avoir veu a un feu quatre 
personnes qu'ils n'avoient pu distinguer si 
elles estoient hommes ou femmes. Devant 
la pointe du jour nous traversasmes et nous 
trouvasmes quatre femmes endormies de 
leurs gens qui avoient fuy aux Quinipissa. 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

prince, Louis the Great, King of France 
and of Navarre. On the ioth we started 
up stream. 

Our provisions being exhausted, M. de 
La Salle determined to go to the Quinipissa 
village, by gentle means or by force; 
meanwhile we lived upon some potatoes 
and upon alligators, which we found at £**< 
rare intervals along the shore. On the 
1 4th, we reached the village of the Tangi- 
bahos. Our Savages having seen smoke on 
the other side, M. de La Salle sent out 
Messrs. d'Autray, Haisnault, Brossard, with 
four Savages, at night to reconnoiter. About 
midnight they brought back word that they 
had seen four persons about a fire, but had 
not been able to distinguish whether they 
were men or women. Before daybreak 
we crossed and found four women asleep, 
belonging to the people who had fled to 
the Quinipissas. They informed us of 
what had taken place. That day we en- 
camped opposite their village. About noon 
there passed our encampment a canoe laden 
with warriors, who defied us, tomahawk in 
hand. M. de La Salle at once launched a 
canoe, in which he embarked and went in 
pursuit of them; but, not being able to 
overtake them, returned to camp. Putting 
on board a canoe one of the women whom 
we had captured, he gave her some axes, 




and alli- 




92 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Avril, Elles nous avertirent de ce qui s'estoit 
1682. passe. Nous fusmes le mesme iour cabaner 
vis-a-vis leur village. Sur le midy il passa 
devant nostre cabanage un canot avec des 
guerriers dedans, lesquels nous bravoient le 
casse-teste a la main. D'abord M. de La 
Salle fit mettre un canot a l'eau, dans lequel 
il s'embarqua et fut apres; mais, ne 1' ay ant 
pu joindre, il revint a la cabane, et, ay ant 
embarque une des femmes que nous avions 
faites prisonnieres, il luy donna quelques 
haches, couteaux et alimens, et parce qu'on 
luy fit comprendre que nous avions faim, 
qu'elles eussent a apporter du bled, et que 
les trois autres s'en retourneroient a leur 
village. Elle en fut porter la nouvelle au 
village. Le 15 au matin, nous entendismes 
crier de l'autre bord, et ayant aperceu en- 
viron trois cents hommes, M. de La Salle 
fit mettre trois canots a l'eau et s'en fut a 
eux. Pendant qu'il estoit a traiter des pois 
avec cette nation, j'aperceus onze canots 
cachez dans une petite anse, ce qui m'obligea 
de faire mettre tous les canots a l'eau, afin 
d'estre en estat de secourir M. de La Salle 
en cas de besoin. Apres que les Quinipissa 
eurent fume dans le calumet, ils deman- 
derent des ostages. On leur donna Hesnault 
avec Chaquesque, et deux Quinipissa s'em- 
barquerent avec M. de La Salle. Apres 
avoir este assi un peu de temps, ils nous 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 93 

knives, and food, made her understand that A P ril » 
we were hungry and that they must bring o"v\j 
us some grain; and that the three others 
should return to their village. She went 
upon this errand to the village. On the 
morning of the 15th, we heard a cry from 
the opposite bank; seeing about three hun- Heg gtiates 
dred men, M. de La Salle launched three with the 
canoes and went over to them. While he treacl ? er - 

. . . . . r ous Kini- 

was negotiating with this nation for peas, 1 pi ssas , 
espied eleven canoes hidden in a little cove, 
and so felt obliged to have all our canoes 
launched, in order to be prepared to succor 
M. de La Salle in case of need. The 
Quinipissas, having smoked the calumet, 
demanded hostages. Hesnault, with Cha- 
quesque,* was given them, and two Quin- 
ipissas embarked with M. de La Salle. 
After sitting a little while, they made signs 
to us to cross to the other side; we em- 
barked and encamped again within an 
eighth of a league of the village, when the 
women we had captured returned home, 
and Hesnault came back with Chaquesque 
to our camp, telling us that the lodges of 
these Savages were covered with palm- 
leaves. One of the women we had taken 


*There is reason to think that proper names are 
carelessly written in this account. The Indian name 
nearest like this one in the list is Chouakost. — Margry. 


94 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Avril, firent signe de traverser de l'autre bord, on 
s'embarqua et on fut cabaner a demi-quart 
de lieue du village, oft les femmes que nous 
avions pris s'en retournerent chez eux, et 
Hesnault avec Chaquesque* vinrent en 
nostre cabane, lesquels nous dirent que les 
cabanes de ces Sauvages estoient couvertes 
de feuilles de palmier. Une des femmes 
que nous avions prises nous apporta un peu 
de bled d'Inde, et ensuite quelques jeunes 
gens. On le leur paya fort bien, afin de 
les encourager d'en apporter davantage. 

Environ sur les huit heures du soir, trois 
jeunes hommes apporterent fort peu de bled 
d'Inde; et pendant que deux restoient en 
nostre cabane, le troisiesme visitoit partout 
et mesme vouloit faire en sorte que M. de 
La Salle laissast aller avec eux une femme 
esclave qui leur estoit alliee, que les Akansas 
luy avoient donnee, a quoy il s'opposa, et 
par un pressentiment il ne voulut pas que 
j'allasse l'apres-dine au village, crainte d'ac- 
cident. Les jeunes hommes s'en retourn- 
erent. On posa les sentinelles et un chacun 
se coucha. Une demi-heure devant le jour, 
Crevel, qui estoit en sentinelle, entendit 
casser des Cannes, et comme j'entendis qu'il 


*I1 y a lieu de croire que les noms sont mal ecrits 
dans cette relation. Le nom de Sauvage qui, dans la 
liste, se rapproche le plus de celui-ci est Chouakost. 

Relation of Henri de Tonty. 95 

brought us a little Indian meal, as did some April, 
young men later. They were well paid, .jf®^, 
in order to encourage them to bring more. 
At about eight in the evening, three 
young men brought a very little Indian 
meal; and, while two remained in our 
lodge, the third made a tour of inspection, 
and even wished to persuade M. de La Salle 
to let them take away a slave woman, who 
had been given him by the Akansas, and La Salle 
who was related to the Quinipissas. This refuses to 
M. de La Salle refused, and, on account of if*"***' 


some foreboding, would not permit me to woma n. 
go in the afternoon to the village, for fear of 
a mischance. The young men went away ; 
sentinels were posted, and every one lay 
down to rest. Half an hour before day- 
break, Crevel, who was on guard, heard a 
crackling among the cane, and, hearing 
him mention it and hearing the Sieur 
d'Autray remark that it was caused by 
some dogs, I called out to him to take 
care. A second time he heard the same 
thing. M. de La Salle, who was not 
asleep and who judged by the noise that it 
might be men, cried out: "To arms, chil- 
dren!" Every one prepared for defense, 
and not half the men were ready when we 
heard the war-cry all around us. These 
wretches had surrounded us and were run- 
ning their canoes to shore. One of the 


96 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Avrii, disoit cela et que le sieur d'Autray disoit 
1682. q Ue c'estoient des chiens, je luy criay de 
prendre garde. II entendit par une seconde 
fois la mesme chose. M. de La Salle, qui ne 
dormoit point, ayant juge par ce bruit que ce 
pouvoient estre des hommes, s'ecria: "Aux 
armes, enfans!" Un chacun se mit en 
devoir de se deffendre, et la moitie n'estoi- 
ent pas prests que nous entendismes le cri 
de guerre tout a l'entour de nous. Ces 
canailles nous avoient entourez et faisoient 
mettre au bord de l'eau des canots, et 
mesme un de ceux qui estoient dedans 
ayant pris le bout du fusil de Pignabel, 
croyant que c'estoit une fredoche, Pignabel 
luy lascha son coup, et Louis Baron un 
autre et leur canot tourna. Nous fismes 
assez bon feu jusqu'a la pointe du jour et a 
chaque coup de fusil que nous tirions, ces 
barbares faisoient des cris de guerre; mais 
d'abord qu'ils virent clair et qu'ils aperceu- 
rent des morts de leur coste, ils prirent la 
fuite et nous les chargeasmes jusqu'a ce que 
M. de La Salle nous voyant trop avancez, 
nous commanda de nous retirer au cabanage 
de crainte qu'ils ne nous prissent par der- 
riere, et en brisant nos canots ils nous 
auroient degradez et mis entre leurs mains. 
Sur le midy M. de La Salle prit la moitie 
de son monde et fut briser les pirogues 
proche du village, sous leurs yeux. Estant 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

canoemen having seized the end of Pig- 
nabel's gun, taking it for a stick of under- 
brush, Pignabel fired the charge into him; 
Louis Baron shot another, and the canoe 
was upset. We kept up a pretty rapid fir- 
ing until daybreak, and, at every shot we 
fired, these barbarians raised the war-cry; 
but, as soon as they were able to see the 
dead on their side, they took flight. We 
pursued them until M. de La Salle, seeing 
that we had advanced too far, commanded 
us to retire to the encampment for fear 
of an attack from the rear; for by break- 
ing our canoes they would have got us into 
their power. About noon, M. de La Salle 
took half of his men and destroyed their 
pirogues, near their village and under their 
very eyes. Returning from this expedition, 
he held a council with respect to the 
execution of his plan, which was to attack 
them on the following day in their village. 
But, taking an account of our munitions 
and finding them insufficient for this, after 
our Savages had taken some scalps from 
those we had killed, and set some heads 
upon stakes, — none of us being either killed 
or wounded, — we embarked to go up the 
river before they could follow us by land ; 
for we found that they had laid an ambus- 
cade ten leagues above. 

We stopped at a hillside where we killed 





La Salle 



98 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Avril, de retour de cette expedition, il tint conseil 
l68z - pour executer son dessein, qui estoit d'aller 
^'^ le lendemain les attaquer dans leur village. 
Mais comme on fit visite des munitions, et 
qu'il ne s'en trouva pas suffisamment pour 
cela, nos Sauvages, apres avoir enleve quel- 
ques chevelures de ceux que nous avions 
tuez, planterent quelques testes au bout de 
quelques piques, et nous nous embarquasmes 
pour remonter le fleuve sans avoir aucun de 
nous de blesse ny tue, avant qu'ils nous sui- 
vissent par terre, car nous trouvasmes comme 
ils avoient dresse une embuscade a dix lieues 

Nous trouvasmes un costeau ou on tua 
deux chevreuils et deux ours avec quelques 
crocodiles. Cela nous aida a gagner le 
village des Coroas. Le 29, nous trouvasmes 
a une lieue dudit village une pirogue avec 
deux hommes dedans, lesquels prirent le de- 
vant pour annoncer nostre venue. Comme 
nous fusmes a la veue du village, nous 
n'apercusmes que fort peu de monde sur les 
costeaux. Le chef vint au-devant de nous 
et quand M. de La Salle luy eut donne les 
chevelures, il nous parut extremement sur- 
pris, et nous ayant fait signe de le suivre 
pour manger, nous montasmes la coste ou 
il y avoit des nattes de Cannes au milieu de 
la place pour nous recevoir et sur lesquelles 
il nous fit asseoir, et comme Ton nous 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 



two bucks and two bears, with some alli- 
gators. This helped us to reach the village 
of the Coroas. On the 29th we found, at 
a distance of a league from this village, 
a pirogue with two men in it who preceded 
us to announce our coming. Coming in 
sight of the village, we saw but very few 
people on the bluffs. The chief came to 
meet us and, M. de La Salle having given 
him the scalps, seemed greatly surprised. 
As he made signs to us to follow him to eat, 
we ascended the hill and found cane mats 
spread for us in the middle of the place. 
Having seated ourselves upon these and be- 
gun to eat, we were surprised to find our- TdlT'more 
selves surrounded by more than a thousand than a 
men. Some of our people recognized 
among them some Kinipissas, who were 
their allies; and, upon seeing them, we 
judged that they had brought the news 
of what had taken place in their country, 
and that this great number of men was 
assembled only to do us an ill turn. We 
ate, gun in hand. The Savages held coun- 
cils, and we, having eaten, pretended also 
to converse together. Hearing a cry from 
one of our Savage women at the river 
bank, I went to learn what was the matter, 
and she informed me that some of these 
Savages had stolen one of the canoes. The 
master in charge of it went down the hill 




ioo Relation de Henri de Tonty. 


Avril, portoit a manger, nous fusmes surpris de nous 
1682. vo j r en tourez par plus de mille homme. 
Quelqu'un de nos gens reconnut parmy eux 
quelques Kinipissas, lesquels estoient leurs 
alliez; et Ton jugea en les voyant qu'ils 
leur estoient venus porter la nouvelle de ce 
qui s'estoit passe chez eux, et que ce grand 
nombre d'hommes n'estoit assemble que 
pour nous faire un meschant party. Nous 
mangeasmes le fusil a la main. Ces Sau- 
vages tinrent des conseils et apres que nous 
eusmes mange, nous fismes semblant de 
nous entretenir aussy. Nous entendismes 
crier une de nos Sauvagesses au bord de 
l'eau. Je fus luy demander ce qu'elle avoit, 
elle me dit que de ces Sauvages avoient 
pille un de leurs canots. Le maistre a qui 
il appartenoit descendit la coste et trouva 
une partie de ce qu'il avoit perdu. Cela 
causa un bruit confus. Le chef des Coroas 
ayant invite M. de La Salle a demeurer 
trois jours chez luy, disant qu'il logeroit les 
Francois dans une cabane et les Sauvages 
dans une autre, ce qu'il n'avoit pas fait 
quand nous descendismes, il y consentit. 
Sur quoy je ne pus m'empescher de luy 
dire qu'il voyoit bien l'estat des choses et 
qu'ayant fait sa descouverte, il ne devoit pas 
s'exposer a des miserables qui luy pouvoient 
jouer un mauvais tour. II me tesmoigna 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 




La Salle's 

and found a portion of what he had lost. 
This occasioned a tumultuous noise. M. de 
La Salle accepted an invitation from the 
Coroa chief to remain three days with him, 
the chief arranging to lodge the French 
in one cabin and the Savages in another. 
This he had not done on the occasion of 
the previous visit. Hereupon I could not 
refrain from saying to M. de La Salle that 
he saw plainly the way matters stood and 
that, having made his discovery, he should 
not put himself in the power of wretches beartn z- 
who might play him an ill turn. He 
intimated to me that one must always show 
the Savages that one is not afraid of them. 
In the meantime, the Coroa chief had 
informed himself by means of one of M. 
de La Salle's slaves, whom he could under- 
stand, as to the affair with the Quinipissas. 
I know not whether he saw that they were 
in the wrong, or whether he feared. I 
suggested to M. de La Salle that we go on 
to the Nachy* village, where we should 
find food. We embarked and pitched our 
camp at a place opposite that village. Hav- 
ing waited until ten o'clock the next morn- 
ing and having seen no one on the opposite 
bank, M. de La Salle said: "Let us go our 
way. We are in no need of victuals, hav- 
ing enough." Doubling a point, we were 

*See note, p. 85. 

102 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Avril, qu'il falloit toujours faire connoistre aux 
l682, Sauvages que Ton n'avoit point peur d'eux. 
Pendant ce temps le chef des Coroas 
s'informoit d'un esclave de M. de La Salle, 
lequel il entendoit, de quelle maniere l'af- 
faire s'estoit passee avec les Quinipissas. Je 
ne sais s'il reconnut leur tort ou s'il appre- 
hendoit. Je dis a M. de La Salle d'aller 
au village des Nachy, et que la nous trou- 
verions des rafraischissemens. Nous nous 
embarquasmes et fusmes coucher vis-a-vis 
ledit village ou nous attendismes jusqu'a dix 
heures du matin, et voyant qu'il ne repa- 
roissoit personne de l'autre bord, M. de La 
Salle dit : " II nous faut continuer nostre 
chemin. Nous n'avons que faire de vivres, 
en ayant assez." En doublant une pointe 
nous fusmes surpris d'entendre un cry de 
guerre de l'autre bord, et nous comprismes 
qu'ils n'avoient pas envie de nous nourrir. 
Apres avoir fait environ trois lieues, nous 
trouvasmes sur un cajeu un Tahensa qui se 
sauvoit d'entre les mains des Coroas. M. 
de La Salle le mit dans son canot. Et le 
30 Avril estant arrivez au portage des Ta- 
hensas, je le conduisis dans son village, ou 
nous renouvelasmes amitie, et le chef con- 
neut par la que nous estions ses veritables 
amis. J'admiray pour la seconde fois leur 
maniere d'agir. Car cet homme ne dit 
aucune nouvelle pendant qu'il y eut du 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

surprised to hear a war-cry from the other 
side, whereupon we saw that they had no 
intention of feeding us. Having made 
about three leagues, we found upon a raft a 
Taensa who was escaping from the Coroas. 
M. de La Salle took him into his canoe. 
And having arrived on the 30th of April 
at the portage of the Taensas, I conducted 
him to his village, where we renewed 
friendship, the chief knowing by this act 
that we were his true friends. I admired 
for the second time their behavior. For, 
so long as there were people in the chief's 
lodge, this man had nothing to say; but, 
after we had supped and the company had 
retired, the chief had the door closed and, 
calling me to him, sent for the Taensa 
whom I had brought, who told him his 
story and then went to bed. 

The next day a chief of the Mosopelleas, 
who, after the defeat of his tribe, had 
sought refuge with the chief of the Taensas 
and was living there with five lodges, came 
to see M. de La Salle, and, having intro- 
duced himself as a Mosopellea, M. de La 
Salle gave him back a slave of his nation, 
and made him a present of a pistol. The 
chief of the Taensas, hearing of the good 
reception of his friend, sent word to M. de 
La Salle that he would pay him a visit. 
The Frenchmen who lay at his village told 





The Taen- 
sa chief 
pays a visit 
of state. 

104 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Mai, monde dans la cabane du chef; et apres 
que nous eusmes soupe et que tout le 
V ^* VI monde fut retire, il fit fermer la porte et, 
m'ayant fait approcher de luy, il appela le 
Taensa que j'avois amene, lequel luy raconta 
les nouvelles et ensuite se fut coucher. 

Le lendemain un chef des Mosopelleas, 
lequel apres la defaite de son village avoit 
demande au chef des Tahensa a demeurer 
chez luy, et y demeuroit avec cinq cabanes, 
fut voir M. de La Salle, et s'estant dit 
Mosopellea, M. de La Salle luy rendit un 
esclave de sa nation, et luy donna un pisto- 
let. Le chef des Taensas, ayant appris le 
bon traitement qu'il avoit receu, envoya dire 
a M. de La Salle qu'il l'allast voir. Les 
Francois qui coucherent a son village nous 
dirent qu'on avoit chante toute la nuit a sa 
porte, et que le lendemain en s'embarquant 
il y avoit deux corps de musique, et que les 
canoteurs venoient a la cadence; que deux 
hommes, un devant, l'autre derriere, avec 
des eventails fort bien faits de plumes de 
cygnes, empeschoient que les cousins ne les 
piquassent. Nous entendismes dire : "Voila 
un chef qui arrive," et nous fusmes aude- 
vant de luy. Nous remarquasmes que deux 
cents personnes de ses gens se mirent en 
haye, et avec les mains nettoyerent la place 
par ou il passoit. II entra dans la cabane 
de M. de La Salle, lequel luy donna un 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 105 

us that there was singing all night long at Ma y> 
his door; that, when he embarked in the tvv i. 
morning, there were two bands of music, 
the canoemen paddling in cadence; and 
that two men, one before and the other 
behind him, drove away the gnats with 
well made fans of swan's-down. We heard 
the words: "See, a chief is coming!" and 
went to meet him. We noticed that two 
hundred of his people hedged his path and 
swept with their hands the ground on 
which he trod. He entered the lodge 
of M. de La Salle, who gave him a gun 
and several other presents; and, having ex- 
changed tokens of great friendship, and 
after they had loaded us with all sorts of 
provisions, we launched our canoes and set 
forth on the 3rd of May. The chief made 
a prayer to the sun that we might have 2**%* 
a pleasant voyage, and caused tobacco to the Mis- 
be thrown into the water that the river «"*>/*■ 
might be peaceful. 

Wishing to make haste, M. de La Salle 
went on in advance with three lightened 
canoes, but awaited us among the Akansas 
upon a false report being made him that 
the canoes led by me had been defeated. 
On the 20th, hearing of my approach, 
he continued his journey. The Akansas 
enticed away from him two Taensas who 
had accompanied him, fearing lest they 


106 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Mai, fusil et plusieurs autres presents, et apres 
l68z * s'estre donne de grandes marques d'amitie, 
et lorsqu'ils nous eurent chargez de toutes 
sortes de rafraischissemens, Ton fit mettre 
les canots a l'eau pour partir le 3 May. Le 
chef fit une priere au soleil pour nous sou- 
haiter un bon voyage, et fit jeter du tabac 
a l'eau afin que la riviere fut paisible. 

M. de La Salle, qui avoit envie de faire 
diligence, ayant pris le devant avec trois 
canots alleges, en arrivant aux Akansas, sur 
un faux rapport qu'on luy fit que les canots 
que je conduisois avoient este defaits, nous 
y attendit jusqu'au 20, et, ayant appris mon 
approche, il partit pour continuer sa route. 
Les Akansas luy desbaucherent deux Ta- 
hensas qui l'accompagnoient, apprehendant 
qu'ils ne s'attirassent nos marchandises. Je 
trouvay dans ledit village les quatre Sauvages 
qui nous avoient quittez. II y en eust deux 
qui y voulurent rester. Les deux autres 
s'embarquerent avec moy continuant ma 
route. Je trouvay une lettre pendue a un 
arbre. Elle estoit de Cauchois, qui me 
marquoit que M. de La Salle estoit tombe 
malade, et de luy envoyer au plus viste 
Jean Michel pour le saigner, ce que je fis, 
et le dernier May estant arrive au fort 
Prud'homme, je le vis attaque d'une mala- 
die mortelle, ce qui nous causa un grand 
chagrin. Et comme il avoit des affaires 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 

should win our trade. In this village, I 
found the four Savages who had deserted 
us: two of them wished to remain, the 
two others embarked with me. Attached 
to a tree I found a letter from Cauchois 
informing me that M. de La Salle was 
fallen ill and asking me to send with all 
speed Jean Michel to attend him. This I 
did and, being arrived the last of May 
at Fort Prud 'homme, we had the great 
sorrow of seeing him a prey to mortal 
illness. As he had urgent business at the 
river of the Miamis, I set out on the 4th 
of June with Brossard, Cauchois, Jean 
Masse, and a Sokoki. Above the Ohio 
River I encountered four Iroquois, the sur- 
vivors of a band of a hundred men which 
had been defeated by the Sioux; and, as 
they required succor, I gave them a part of 
what they had need. Four days later, see- 
ing a smoke, we went towards it. There 
issued from the wood thirty Tamaroa war- 
riors, coming on with strung bow and rais- 
ing the war-cry. I offered them the calu- 
met ; an Illinois among them, when he saw 
me, recognized me and cried out: "This is 
my comrade; these are Frenchmen!" We 
went ashore and passed the night with 
them. There was a plot to kill us, but, as 
it was a mixed party of Illinois, Missou- 
ritas, and Tamaroas, the Illinois foiled the 




Severe ill- 
ness of 
La Salle. 

party saved 
by an 

108 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Juin, pressantes a la riviere des Miamis, je partis 
l68z - le 4 Juin avec Brossard, Cauchois, Jean 
Masse et un Sokokis. Au-dessus de la 
riviere Ohio je trouvay quatre Iroquois dont 
la bande, qui avoit este de cent hommes, 
avoit este defaite par les Scioux, et comme 
ils avoient besoin de quelque assistance, je 
leur donnay une partie de ce dont ils avoi- 
ent besoin; quatre jours apres, ayant aper- 
ceu une fumee, nous y fusmes. II sortit 
du bois trente guerriers Tamaroas, lesquels 
vinrent Tare bande sur nous faisant des cris 
de guerre. Je leur presentay le calumet. 
Un Illinois qui estoit parmy eux, m'ayant 
aperceu, me reconneut, et s'escria: "C'est 
mon camarade, ce sont des Francois ! " 
Nous mismes a terre et passasmes la nuit 
avec eux. Ils eurent dessein de nous tuer, 
mais comme ils estoient partie Illinois, 
Missourita et Tamaroas, les Illinois em- 
pescherent ce coup. Le village des Tama- 
roas n'estoit qu'a une journee et demie; un 
guerrier leur fut porter le calumet, et sur ce 
que je leur avois dit que le canot iroquois 
estoit bien loin, ils rebrousserent chemin. 
Le 1 8, estant a la veue du village, les chefs 
vinrent audevant de moy et nous fusmes de 
compagnie au village. Le 20, apres leur 
avoir fait quelque present, je partis et arri- 
vay le 27 au village des Illinois, que nous 
trouvasmes abandonne a cause de la crainte 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 109 

design. The village of the Tamaroas was June, 
distant only a day and a half; a warrior l68z- 
went to bear them the calumet, and when V ^* SJ 
I had told them that the Iroquois canoe 
was very far away, the party turned back. 
On the 1 8th, when we came in view of the 
village, the chiefs came to meet me and 
we went together to the village. On 
the 20th, after having made them some 
presents, I set out, arriving on the 27th at 
the Illinois village, which we found aban- 
doned by reason of fear of the Iroquois. 
The water being very low, I was forced 
to abandon my canoe and to go on foot 
to the lake, which is forty leagues from 

From the way in which I have described 
the Great River, the circumstance that its 
banks are lined with cane may seem un- 
fortunate to you; but I can assure you 
that this is only a fringe which does not 
extend far back. There is a second belt of 
true forest, where there are many fruits un- 
known to us, and an abundance of mul- A fruitful 
berry, laurel, and palm trees; and beyond 
the forest are great prairies covered with 
all kinds of wild beasts, such as the hart, 
the roe-deer, the bear, the hare, the rabbit, 
the lynx, the marmot, and a vast number of 
buffalo, and some other animals which are 
unknown among us. The soil is wonderfully 



1 10 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 


Juillet, qu'ils avoient des Iroquois. Les eaux estant 
l6 79- f or t basses, je fus oblige d'abandonner mon 
canot et de marcher par terre pour gagner 
le lac qui est a quarante lieues de la. 

De la maniere que je vous ay depeint la 
Grande Riviere, elle vous aura peut estre 
paru affreuse a cause que son rivage est 
borde de Cannes; mais je vous diray que ce 
n'est qu'une lisiere qui n'entre point dans 
la profondeur. On en trouve une seconde 
de bois francs, ou il y a quantite de fruits 
qui nous sont inconnus, et abondance des 
meuriers, de lauriers et de palmiers, et der- 
riere les bois francs, ce sont de grandes 
prairies remplies de toutes sortes de bestes 
fauves, comme cerfs, chevreuils, ours, lievres, 
lapins, loups-cerviers, marmottes et une 
grande quantite de sibolas et quelques autres 
animaux qui nous sont inconnus. Les terres 
y sont merveilleuses, et au village des Cor- 
oas, le bled d'Inde y est en maturite en 40 

Par bonheur, au bord du lac, je trouvay 
un Sauvage Outagamis qui me vendit son 
canot. Je gagnay la riviere des Miamis; 
n'ayant trouve personne, je me rendis le 22 
Juillet a Michilimakinak. M. de La Salle 
estant remis de sa maladie, laquelle luy 
avoit dure quarante jours, m'envoya ordre 
de l'attendre, et s'estant rendu a Michili- 
makinak, il prit resolution d'aller en France 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. i i i 

rich; at the Coroa village, Indian corn July, 
comes to maturity in forty days. l862. 

Fortunately I found at the lakeside an Ou- v ^* v ' 
tagamie, who sold me his canoe. Finding 
no one at the river of the Miamis, I made 
my way to Michilimakinak,* which I 
reached on the 22nd of July. M. de La 
Salle, recovering from his illness, which 
had lasted forty days, sent me orders to 
await him, and, being arrived at Michili- 
makinak, decided to return to France in 
order to give an account at Court of his Tonty re- 
discovery. He sent me back to build a t V F "wm . 
fort at the portage of the Illinois River, for t0 build a 
the purpose of protecting the village of the f ort - 
Shawanoes, whom he had drawn to him 
and had joined with the Miamis. Being 
arrived, I found that the Shawanoes had 
gone hunting and that the Miamis were 
preparing for flight, as they had been told 
that the Iroquois were coming to devour 
them. I found that all our people were 
dispersed; and, as I had few men, I re- 
solved to pass the winter on the Illinois 
River, hoping to be able to collect my 
men in the spring. Meanwhile, as M. de 
La Salle found himself unwell, he resolved 
not to return to France, but to send his 
dispatches by the Reverend Father Zenoble. 


*Previously spelled " Missilimakinak," passim. — 

1 12 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Decembre, rendre compte a la Cour de sa descouverte, 
l68z - et m'ordonna d'aller faire faire un fort au 
portage de la riviere des Illinois, pour main- 
tenir en seurete le village des Chaouanons 
qu'il avoit appelez pres de luy et avoit joints 
avec les Miamis. Estant arrive, je trouvay 
que les Chaouanons estoient allez en chasse 
et les Miamis dans la disposition de fuir, a 
cause qu'on leur avoit dit que les Iroquois 
les venoient manger. Je trouvay tous nos 
gens dispersez; et comme j'avois peu de 
monde, je pris resolution d'aller hyverner 
dans la riviere des Illinois, afin de pouvoir 
rassembler mon monde au printemps. Mais 
comme M. de La Salle se trouva indispose, 
il se resolut de ne point passer en France et 
d'envoyer ses depesches par le R. P. Zeno- 
ble, et il vint me joindre, le 30 Decembre, 
et pendant l'hyver nous y construisismes le 
fort de Saint-Louis sur un rocher inac- 
cessible, ou M. de La Salle fit venir les 
Chaouanons. Les Miamis se joignirent a 
luy et ensuite les Illinois, vers lesquels je fis 
dans le mois de Mars 1683 un voyage de 
plus de cent lieues, a traverser les prairies. 
Apres leur avoir fait de grands presents de 
la part de M. de La Salle, qu'ils appelerent 
leur pere, ils me donnerent parole de nous 
venir trouver. 

Je ne veux point, Monsieur, vous impor- 
tuner de toutes les difficultez qu'on a eues 



Relation of Henri de Tonty. i i 3 

On the 30th of December he joined me; December, 

and during the winter we built upon an l68z * 

impregnable rock Fort St. Louis, to which 

M. de La Salle induced the Shawanoes to Fort St 

come. The Miamis united themselves 

with him, and later the Illinois, to whom, 

in the month of March, 1683, I made 

a journey of more than a hundred leagues 

across the prairies. After I had made 

them great presents in behalf of M. de 

La Salle, whom they called their Father, 

they gave me their word that they would 

join us. 

I will not weary you, Sir, with all the 
difficulties we encountered in collecting 
these tribes, whose minds were preoccupied 
with the evil reports which the French 
enemies of M. de La Salle had spread 
among them. Then, after M. de La Salle 
had placed his fort in a state of defense, he 
resolved to return to France. Leaving me 
in command, he set out in the month of 
August, 1683, taking with him two Sha- 
wanoes. Fourteen leagues from the fort, 
he met the Chevalier de Baugy, who 
brought him a letter from M. de La Barre, 
Governor General of Canada, ordering him 
to return to give an account of his discov- 
ery. This Chevalier de Baugy reached the 
Fort with letters from M. de La Salle, who 
advised me to receive him well and to live 


La Salle's 


114 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Aout, pour rassembler ces peuples, lesquels avoient 
3 * l'esprit preoccupe des mauvais discours que 
les Francois ennemis de M. de La Salle leur 
avoient faits. Apres done que M. de La 
Salle eut mis son fort en estat, il prit resolu- 
tion d'aller en France, et, m'ayant laisse le 
commandement en sa place, il partit le 
mois d'Aoust 1683 et mena avec luy deux 
Chaouanons. A quatorze lieues du fort, il 
trouva le chevalier de Baugy, lequel luy 
apportoit une lettre de M. de La Barre, 
gouverneur general du Canada, afin qu'il 
eust a descendre pour rendre compte de sa 
descouverte. Ledit chevalier de Baugy 
arriva au fort avec des lettres de M. de La 
Salle par lesquelles il me recommandoit de 
le bien recevoir et de vivre en grande union 
avec luy ; mais comme par la suite du temps 
je vis qu'il faisoit son possible pour des- 
baucher nos habitans, et que le sieur de La 
Durantays ne s'y espargna pas non plus 
quand il y vint, il me fut impossible d'eviter 
quelques demeslez que j'eus avec eux, et 
nous passasmes l'hiver en mesintelligence 
ensemble. Le 21 Mars 1684,* deux cents 
Iroquois, ayant pille sept canots de Francois, 
vinrent ensuite attaquer nostre fort. Apres 
six jours de siege, ils se retirerent avec perte 
de leurs gens et furent poursuivis par de 
petits partis de nos alliez qui en tuerent 

*Le textc porte a tort 1683. 

Relation of Henri de Tonty. i i 5 

with him in perfect harmony; but as, in March, 

the course of time, I saw that he was doing l684> 

all he could to debauch our people, and as *^* >J 

the Sieur de La Durantays, when he came, 

did not refrain from efforts directed to the 

same end, it was impossible for me to avoid 

some disputes with them, and we passed the 

winter at variance with one another. On 

the 21st of March, 1684,* two hundred 

Iroquois, after robbing seven French canoes, The lro _ 

came to attack our Fort. After six days' quois 

siege, they retired with loss and were pur- a " ack 

sued by small parties of our allies, who 

killed some of them. On the 21st of May, 

the Sieur de La Durantays, upon pretext of 

coming to our relief, communicated to me, 

on the 23rd,!" orders from M. de La Barre 

obliging me to leave the place and to 

return here. But as the Court has taken 

up the enterprise of M. de La Salle, and as 

orders have reached M. de La Barre from 

the King to the effect that we are to retake 

possession of the domain of M. de La Salle, r 

the latter, empowered by His Majesty, has made Gov- 

named me Governor of Fort St. Louis, and ernor °f 

the King has honored me with the com- £ uijm 

mand of a company of marines. I had set 


*The text reads wrongly 1683. — Margry. 

fThe meaning being clear, I translate this sentence 
literally, as a specimen of Tonty' s style. — Translator. 

1 1 6 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 


Mai, quelques-uns. Le 21 May, le sieur de La 
]^ii. % Durantays, sous pretexte de venir a nostre 
secours, me signifia, le 23, les ordres de M. 
de La Barre qui m'obligerent de quitter la 
place et de me rendre icy. Mais comme 
la Cour a embrasse l'entreprise de M. de 
La Salle, et qu'il est venu des ordres du 
Roy a M. de La Barre que nous eussions a 
rentrer dans le bien de M. de La Salle, 
celuy-cy m'a nomme au gouvernement du 
fort Saint-Louis, selon le pouvoir que Sa 
Majeste luy a donne, et le Roy m'a honore 
d'une compagnie du destachement de la 
Marine. J'estois parti pour aller audit fort, 
mais les glaces m'ayant barre le chemin, 
j'ay este oblige de relascher. J'espere le 
printemps prochain me remettre en marche 
pour y aller. 

Je vous demande, Monsieur, la continua- 
tion de vostre amitie, et vous supplie d'estre 
persuade qu'en quelque lieu que je sois, je 
seray toujours avec beaucoup de respect, 
Monsieur, vostre tres-humble et tres-obeis- 
sant serviteur. De Tonty. 

De Quebec, le 14 Novembre 1684. 

Relation of Henri de Tonty. i 17 

OUt tO gO tO the Fort, but, OI1 aCCOUnt November, 

of the ice, I find myself compelled to lie l684 * 
over. I hope to set out again next spring. ^^^ 

I beg of you, Sir, the continuance of 
your friendship, and pray you to believe 
that, wherever I may be, I shall always 
remain with great respect, Sir, your very 
humble and obedient servant. 

De Tonty. 

From Quebec, the 14th of November, 1684. 

1 1 8 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Distances des Heux oil le sieur de Tonty a passe 

depuis La Rochelle jusqu a la mer du Sud (sic) , par 

le Canada et par V embouchure de la riviere de 

Mississipi oufleuve Colbert. 


De La Rochelle a l'lsle-Percee - 1,000 

De l'lsle-Percee a Quebec - - - 120 

Aux Trois- Rivieres - 30 

Au Montreal et Villemarie - - - 30 

Au fort Frontenac - - - - 60 

A Niagara 92 

Au lac Erie ----- 14 

Au Detroit ----- 100 

Au lac Huron - 30 

A Michilimakinak - - - - 100 

A la riviere des Miamis - - - 120 

Au portage de la riviere des Illinois - 25 

Au fleuve Colbert ou Mississipi - 200 
A la mer ------ 374 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 119 

Distances of the Places by which the Sieur de 
Tonty passed from La Rochelle to the Southern Sea 
(sic), by way of Canada and by the Mouth of the 
River Mississipi or Colbert. 


From La Rochelle to Isle Percee - 1,000 

From Isle Percee to Quebec - - 120 

To Trois-Rivieres (Three Rivers) - 30 

To Montreal and Villemarie 30 

To Fort Frontenac - 60 

To Niagara 92 

To Lake Erie - 14 

To the Detroit (The Strait) - - 100 

To Lake Huron - 30 

To Michilimakinak - - - - 100 
To the River of the Miamis (The St. 

Joseph) - - - - - 120 

To the Portage of the Illinois River - 25 

To the River Colbert or Mississipi - 200 

To the Sea - 374 


*Margry sums up "2205." — As Parkman remarks, 
Tonty's estimates of distances for the lower Mississippi 
are much too low. — Translator. 

120 Relation de Henri de Tonty. 

Distances des Iieux les plus remarquables ou ledit 
sieur de Tonty a touch'e dans le fleuve Colbert. 

De l'embouchure de la riviere des Illinois 

a la riviere des Missourites 6 

Au village des Tamaroua ... 6 

A la riviere Ohio - - - - - 40 

Au village des Savansa (Akansa) - 98 

Au village des Tahensa - - - 80 

Au village des Nachy - - - 12 

Au village des Coroas - - - - 10 

Au village des Quinipissa 80 

Au village des Tanchibao 1 

A la mer 38 


Relation of Henri de Tonty. 121 

Distances of the most remarkable places touched 
by the said Sieur de Tonty upon the River Colbert. 


From the Mouth of the Illinois River to 

the Missouri River 6 

To the Tamaroua Village - 6 

To the Ohio River - - - - 40 

To the Savansa (Akansa) Village - 98 

To the Tahensa Village - - - 80 

To the Nachy (Natchez) Village - 12 

To the Coroa Village - - - 10 

To the Quinipissa Village 80 

To the Tanchibao Village 2 

To the Sea - - - - - 38