Wednesday, September 04, 2013

So what Wendat village was the "first Mass" in Huronia held?

I was searching through Sagard's Histoire and came across the following paragraph which states that the first Mass said in Huronia was near the village of Toenchain (otherwise known as Toanche). Why then is it recorded as the village of Carhagouha.

"Our poor hut might be about twenty feet long and ten or twelve wide, in shape like a garden arbour, covered all over with tree-bark except at the ridge, where an open crack had been left from one end to the other to let out the smoke.  We finished it off ourselves as completely as we possibly could, making partition-walls of pieces of wood, which divided the hut into three rooms.  The first of these next to the door served us as bedchamber and kitchen, for doing all our little household work, and for our rest at night, which we took on the ground lying upon a little reed mat, with a block of wood for pillow and some logs that each had arranged in front of his bed so as not to be seen.  This division also served us as an assembly-room for receiving and conversing with our savages, who came daily to visit us.  The second room, the smallest, was that in which we kept our utensils and small furnishings.  And the third, in which we had set up an altar with pieces of wood fixed in the ground, served us as a chapel.  This was the second ever built in the Huron country and surrounding parts, in which Mass was celebrated every day, to the great satisfaction and comfort of our souls, for before us neither priest not friar had ever set foot upon it, with the sole exception of Father Joseph Le Caron, who celebrated the first mass near the town of Toenchain.  And for fear of the thievish hands of the savages we always kept the little bark doors closed and tied with bits of cord, having no better way of fastening them.  Around our dwelling, although the soil was rather poor and sandy, we made a little garden, fenced off by stakes so as to prevent free access by the children.  The peas, herbs and other trifles which we had sown there did quite well, and would have done better if the soil had been well cultivated, but we had to use an old axe instead of a spade, and a crooked pointed stick for all other implements." Histoire pgs 186-187

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