RAGUENEAU, Paul. Relation de ce qui s’est passé en la Mission des Pères de la Compagnie de Jesus aux Hurons, pays de la Nouvelle France, és années 1648 & 1649. Envoyée au R. P. Hierosme Lalemant, Supérieur des Missions de la Compagnie de Jesus, en la Nouvelle France. Par le P. Paul Ragueneau, de la mesme Compagnie. Paris, Sébastien Cramoisy et Gabriel Cramoisy, 1650.
8vo [169 x 105 mm], (4) pp., 116. Bound in full contemporary limp vellum, handwritten title on spine.
Second enlarged edition of this rare Jesuit relation describing the massacre of the Hurons by the Iroquois. Streit 2577 ; Sabin 67492 ; Church 506 ; Harrisse 91 ; Brunet, Supp. II, 455.
Ragueneau (1608-1680) is one of the main authors of the “Jesuit Relations” relating the story of the Canadian martyrs. He went to the Huron country in 1637 in order to try to convert the people. Five of the missionaries who worked with him were martyred: Antoine Daniel was killed on the 4th of July 1648, Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalemant were tortured and killed in March 1649. Ragueneau became the Father Superior of the mission in 1645.
« The ‘Relation’ furnishes an interesting account of the state of the mission in the years 1648, and 1649, and gives a thrilling sketch of the horrors attending the destruction of the Christian villages of St. Joseph and of St. Ingnatius, by incursions of the Iroquois, the most deadly enemies of the Hurons, and of the Christian name”. (The Catholic Cabinet, p. 22).
The present edition is of the utmost interest as it comprises a passage of 13 pages printed at the end of the volume that appears here for the first time. It contains interesting new information about the missions to Canada.
A fresh and crisp copy of this sought after relation, preserved in its contemporary vellum.
ABPC doesn’t list any copy of the first edition of this text.
Only one copy of this edition has appeared at auction since 1975: the Lionel Robinson’s copy, sold by Sotheby’s London on the 26th of June 1986 to Lake. That same copy was sold again by Sotheby’s NY at the Frank T. Siebert sale on the 21st of May 1999 for $ 16 000 (about € 15 000). It was described in those terms in the auction catalogue: “bottom margin on title-page expertly extended, later stiff vellum”.