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Document Number: AJ-044
Author: Lalemant, Jérome, 1593-1673
Title: Journey of Raymbault and Jogues to the Sault
Source: Kellogg, Louise P. (editor). Early Narratives of the Northwest, 1634-1699. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1917). Pages 19-25.
Pages/Illustrations: 9 / 0
Citable URL:

Author Note

Father Isaac Jogues (1607-1646) was the first Catholic priest to visit Manhattan Island. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1624 and was a literature professor at Rouen before traveling to Canada as a missionary in 1636. He went to live among the Hurons with Montmagny, the immediate successor of Champlain. He was with Garnier among the Petuns, and he and Raymbault traveled as far as Sault Ste. Marie, michigan; they were likely the first white men to see Lake Superior. Jogues proposed not only to convert the Indians of Lake Superior, but also the Sioux who lived among the Mississippi headwaters. Joques was captured near Three Rivers, Quebec, August 3, 1642, and was cruelly tortured and held captive at the Indian village of Ossernenon, about forty miles above the present city of Albany. There he remained for thirteen months in slavery, suffering apparently beyond the power of natural endurance while attempting to minister to his captors. The Dutch Protestants at Fort Orange (Albany) made constant efforts to free him, and at last, when he was about to be burnt to death, induced him to take refuge in a sailing vessel which carried him to New Amsterdam (New York) and Dutch traders returned him to France. Jogues promptly returned to Canada in June of 1644, however, and was captured and killed by the Iroquois while again attempting to open a mission house.

Charles Raymbault (1602-1642) was a Jesuit missionary who came to Canada to aid in the establishment of missions. Raymbault arrived in Canada in 1637 and spent three years in Quebec and Three Rivers learning the Algonquian language. He then traveled to Huronia in the autumn of 1640 and was assigned to minister to the Nipissing. Failing to establish a mission among the Petun, Jogues encountered Raymbault en route to the Nipissing and joined him on his journey. After his return from Sault Ste. Marie, Raymbault sought a further mission to Nipissing but was seriously ill after the arduous journey. Raymbault returned to Quebec where he died on October 22, 1642.

Jérome Lalemant (1593-1673) was a Jesuit missionary who arrived in Canada in 1638, and went west to live among the Hurons. He organized the first census of the Indians and accompanied Raymbault and Jogues on their journey to the Sault Ste. Marie. Lalement is believed to be author of many of the Jesuit Relations.

Jogues and Raymbault Expedition to Sault Ste. Marie, 1641

Raymbault and Jogues arrived in the Nipissing country in time for the ceremony for the feast for the dead, a ceremony that drew Indians from all around the Great Lakes. Having been told by a tribe that they lived by a strait that connected a large, “superior” lake to Lake Huron, Raymbault and Jogues accompanied them back to their lands and visited the Sault Ste. Marie in 1641.

Document Note

The Jesuit relation by Father Jerome Lalemant from which this text is excerpted was originally published in Paris in 1642, and is believed to have been transcribed by the explorers themselves because Lalemant was present at both the departure and return of Raymbault and Jogues.

As the Jesuits retained control of exploration of the western Great Lakes, they annually published their accounts from the Parisian publishing house of Sebastién Cramoisy. In 1673 the press stopped producing these manuscripts and they became very rare. The Canadian Government reprinted the series in 1858, and Reuben Gold Thwaites translated and edited them 1896-1903.

Other Internet and Reference Sources

Civilization Canada provides outlines of Canadian history at its website:

The National Library of Canada provides French and English versions of the Jesuit Relations. The English translation by Thwaites can be viewed online at:

Father Isaac Jogues was beatified by the Vatican and the Catholic Encyclopedia has a biography about the religious activities of him and his fellow Jesuit explorers at:

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