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MICHIGAN AS A PROVINCE 1 - 5


The friars were the only missionaries in the colony until 1624, when by special invitation a few Jesuits came to New France. A year later, Henry de Levy, Duke of Ventadour, was made governor. He had become disgusted with the world and had entered a monkish order, intending to pass the rest of his days in religious exercises. He was more interested in the conversion of the heathen than in the advancement of the material interests of the people over whom he held sway. He brought hither at his own cost five Jesuits, among whom were Fathers Lal-lemant, Breboeuf and Masse. * These energetic and tireless priests and those who came after them speedily set themselves about the work at their hand. They went among the Indian tribes and in the most courageous and self-sacrificing spirit sought to convert them to Christianity and to baptise them into the Holy Church.
In 1632 Father Sagard, a Jesuit missionary, reached Lake Huron by way of the upper Ottawa. In 1641 Charles Raymbault and Isaac Jogues, two other Jesuit missionaries, who had previously established a mission at the head of Pentanguishine bay, embarked in a birch bark canoe in which they navigated Georgian bay and St. Mary's river. In September of that year they arrived at the Sault Ste Marie. They were hospitably received by the Chippewas, the chiefs of which tribe gave them a cordial reception and afforded them refreshment and rest. From the savages the visitors learned something of the magnitude of Lake Superior, upon which their eyes then rested, and of the country about it. Beyond this great body of water, they were told, was the home of the Sioux, a warlike band who never permitted the Chippewas to visit their hunting grounds. The missionaries did not push their investigations further, but late in the autumn of the same year returned to their mission at Pentanguishine, carrying with them glowing accounts of the beautiful country they had seen.

MICHIGAN


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