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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Isaac Jogues

DE SMET, Peter John  - A Stan Klos Company

JOGUES, Isaac, French missionary, born in Orleans, France, 10 January, 1607; died in Ossernenon, near what is now Auriesville, Montgomery County, New York, 18 October, 1646. He became a member of the Jesuit order in October, 1624, was ordained priest in 1636, and went in the same year to Canada, where he was sent to labor among the Hurons at Ihonatiria.

In 1638 he wintered among the Petuns, and, although meeting with much opposition, converted many of the tribe. He was next stationed at the mission of St. Mary's on the Wye, visiting at the same time five Indian towns in the neighborhood. In the summer of 1642 he embarked on board a canoe, accompanied by several Hurons, and reached Quebec in search of supplies for the missions. He visited Sault Sainte Marie on the way, and was thus the first missionary to plant the cross on Michigan soil.

On his return from Quebec to the Huron country, the party with whom he was traveling fell into a Mohawk ambuscade. The Hurons, overconfident in their bravery, landed and were soon beaten. Father Jogues could have escaped, but when he saw his companions prisoners, he surrendered in order to be near the wounded and dying. For attempting to console those who were undergoing torture, he was beaten until he was senseless, and barbarously treated.

The Mohawks then embarked on Lake Champlain, and, meeting a party of their countrymen on an island, compelled the prisoners to run the gantlet for their amusement. The missionary sank under the blows that he received, and was then dragged to a scaffold, where he was cruelly tortured. This treatment was repeated in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon on 14 August, and in two other villages, in one of which he baptized two Huron catechumens, in the midst of his agony, with some drops of dew on a cornstalk that was thrown him by an Indian. Then the Mohawks decided to put all the prisoners to death; but on further consideration they contented themselves with burning three Hurons at the stake.

The Dutch of Fort Orange raised a large sum of money, and made every effort to ransom Father Jogues and his servant René Goupil, but their generous efforts were unavailing.

Soon afterward a war party arrived that had been defeated by the French, and the Mohawks resolved to kill all their French prisoners. Father Jogues was spared for the time, and in his captivity found his only consolation in instructing and confessing prisoners who were burned at the stake, sometimes when they were amid the flames.

He was forced by the Mohawks to follow them to their hunting-grounds, where he did the work of the squaws and slaves. After his labors, he wandered about the forest. chanting psalms or praying before the sign of the cross carved on some tree. The Indians took him several times to the Dutch settlement at Rennsselaerswyck, and he wrote from this station in August, 1643, a letter to his provincial, giving an account of his captivity.

Finally, by the aid of the Dutch settlers, several of whom imperilled their lives in his behalf, he succeeded in escaping just as his captors were about to kill him in revenge for a defeat they had suffered from the French. He was brought to New Amsterdam, where his misfortunes excited the deepest sympathy among all classes. Governor Kieft and the clergyman Dominic Megapolensis especially showed him the warmest affection.

In November, 1643, he sailed for Europe, but was driven on the English coast, and robbed of all that he possessed. He finally succeeded in reaching France, where he was received with great kindness. But he could not control his desire to return to Canada.

He first requested permission from Innocent XI. to say mass with mutilated hands. The reply of the pope was: "Indignum esse Christi martyrem Christi non bibere sanguinem." [“It would be a disgrace for a martyr of Christ not to drink the blood of Christ.”] He embarked at La Rochelle in the spring of 1644, was stationed for some time at Montreal, and was sent to take part in the negotiations between the French and Mohawks at Three Rivers. Peace was concluded, but its ratification was delayed, and, to bring matters to a final settlement, Father Jogues set out for the Mohawk country with Sieur Bourdon, 16 May, 1646.

He passed through Lake George, which he called Lac Sainte Sacrement, stopped on the way at Fort Orange to thank the Dutchmen who had succored him, and then proceeded to the Mohawk town of Onewyiure. The Mohawks received him kindly, and peace was concluded. He then went to Quebec, but only rested a few days.

Although there were rumors that the Mohawks were about to renew the war, he was determined on establishing a mission among them. Yet he had no doubt as to the end. The words in his last letter were prophetic: "Ibo et non redibo." [“I am going and I am not returning.”] He was accompanied by several Hurons and a young Frenchman named Lalande. The Hurons abandoned him one after another, but the Frenchman remained faithful to the end. They met a party of Mohawks in their war paint, and Father Jogues entered Ossernenon a second time as a captive, 17 October, 1646.

On his previous visit he had left a chest containing his vestments and chapel service. The Mohawks believed that the caterpillars that devoured their crops, and a fever that was decimating them, owed their origin to this chest. They therefore resolved that he should die as a sorcerer, and began the butchery by slicing off the flesh from his arms and back, crying, "Let us see if this white flesh is that of an otkon" (sorcerer).

His calm remonstrances in the midst of his torture seemed to produce some effect. A council of the clans assembled to decide his fate. While it was in session he was invited to a supper, and had scarcely entered the hut to which he was conducted when an Indian rushed from the darkness and struck him down lifeless with a single blow. His companion was also killed, and their heads were fixed on the north palisade, and their bodies flung into the Mohawk.

Miracles were attributed to Father Jogues after his death, and the third plenary council of Baltimore, held in November, 1884, took steps toward his canonization. He was proclaimed a saint, one of the North American Martyrs, by Pope Pius XI in 1930.

The site of Ossernenon has been identified. A chapel was erected on the spot in 1884 to commemorate his death and that of René Goupil, and Roman Catholics are making pilgrimages thither.

Father Jogues wrote a "Description of New Netherlands in 1642," a "Notice of René Goupil," and a "Journal" of his captivity, all of which have been published in a volume of the "Collections of the New York Historical Society," and reprinted, with notes and a memoir, by John G. Shea (1862). His journal was published by Alejambe in his "Mortes illustres" (Rome, 1667). His life has been written by Felix Martin (Paris, 1873; New York, 1885).

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia by John Looby Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

 

JOGUES, Isaac, French missionary, born in Orleans, France, 10 January, 1607; died in Ossernenon, near what is now Auriesville, Montgomery County, New York, 1S October, 1646. He became a member of the Jesuit order in October, 1624, was ordained priest in 1636, and went in the same year to Canada, where he was sent to labor among the Hurons at Ihonatiria. In 1638 he wintered among the Petuns, and, although meeting with much opposition, converted many of the tribe. He was next stationed at the mission of St. Mary's on the Wye, visiting at the same time five Indian towns in the neighborhood. In the summer of 1642 he embarked on board a canoe, accompanied by several Hurons, and reached Quebec in search of supplies for the missions. He visited Sault Sainte Marie on the way, and was thus the first missionary to plant the cross on Michigan soil. On his return from Quebec to the Huron country, the party with whom he was travelling fell into a Mohawk ambuscade. The Hurons, overconfident in their bravery, landed and were soon beaten. Father Jogues could have escaped, but when he saw his companions prisoners, he surrendered in order to be near the wounded and dying. For attempting to console those who were undergoing torture, he was beaten until he was senseless, and barbarously treated. The Mohawks then embarked on Lake Champlain, and, meeting a party of their countrymen on an island, compelled the prisoners to run the gantlet for their amusement. The missionary sank under the blows that he received, and was then dragged to a scaffold, where he was cruelly tortured. This treatment was repeated in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon on 14 August, and in two other villages, in one of which he baptized two Huron catechumens, in the midst of his agony, with some drops of dew on a corn-stalk that was thrown him by an Indian. Then the Mohawks decided to put all the prisoners to death; but on further consideration they contented themselves with burning three Hurons at the stake. The Dutch of Fort Orange raised a large sum of money, and made every effort to ransom Father Jogues and his servant Rend Gonpil, but their generous efforts were unavailing. Soon afterward a war party arrived that had been defeated by the French, and the Mohawks resolved to kill all their French prisoners. Father Jogues was spared for the time, and in his captivity found his only consolation in instructing and confessing prisoners who were burned at the stake, sometimes when they were amid the flames. He was forced by the Mohawks to follow them to their hunting-grounds, where he did the work of the squaws and slaves. After his labors, he wandered about the forest. chanting psalms or praying before the sign of the cross carved on some tree. The Indians took him several times to the Dutch settlement at Renns-selaerswyck, and he wrote from this station in August, 1643, a letter to his provincial, giving an account of his captivity. Finally, by the aid of the Dutch settlers, several of whom imperilled their lives in his behalf, he succeeded in escaping just as his captors were about to kill hint in revenge for a defeat they had suffered from the French. He was brought to New Amsterdam, where his misfortunes excited the deepest sympathy among all classes. Governor Kieft and the clergyman Dominic Megapolensis especially showed him the warmest affection. In November, 1643, he sailed for Europe, but was driven on the English coast, and robbed of all that he possessed. He finally succeeded in reaching France, where he was received with great kindness. But he could not control his desire to return to Canada. He first requested permission from Innocent XI. to say mass with mutilated hands. The reply of the pope was: "Indignum esse Christi martyrem Christi non bibere sanguinem." He embarked at La Rochelle in the spring of 1644, was stationed for some time at Montreal, and was sent to take part in the negotiations between the French and Mohawks at Three Rivers. Peace was concluded, but its ratification was delayed, and, to bring matters to a final settlement, Father Jogues set out for the Mohawk country with Sieur Bourdon, 16 May, 1646. He passed through Lake George, which he called Lac Sainte Sacrement, stopped on the way at Fort Orange to thank the Dutchmen who had succored him, and then proceeded to the Mohawk town of One-wyiure. The Mohawks received him kindly, and peace was concluded. He then went to Quebec, but only rested a few days. Although there were rumors that the Mohawks were about to renew the war, he was determined on establishing a mission among them. Yet he had no doubt as to the end. The words in his last letter were prophetic: "Ibo et non redibo." He was accompanied by several Hurons and a young Frenchman named Lalande. The Hurons abandoned him one after another, but the Frenchman remained faithful to the end. They met a party of Mohawks in their war-paint, and Father Jogues entered Ossernenon a second time as a captive, 17 October, 1646. On his previous visit he had left a chest containing his vestments and chapel service. The Mohawks believed that the caterpillars that devoured their crops, and a fever that was decimating them, owed their origin to this chest. They therefore resolved that he should die as a sorcerer, and began the butchery by slicing off the flesh from his arms and back, crying, "Let us see if this white flesh is that of an otkon" (sorcerer). His calm remonstrances in the midst of his torture seemed to produce some effect. A council of the clans assembled to decide his fate. While it was in session he was invited to a supper, and had scarcely entered the hut to which he was conducted when an Indian rushed from the darkness and struck him down lifeless with a single blow. His companion was also killed, and their heads were fixed on the north palisade, and their bodies flung into the Mohawk. Miracles were attributed to Father Jogues after his death, and the third plenary council of Baltimore, held in November, 1884, took steps toward his canonization. The site of Ossernenon has been identified. A chapel was erected on the spot in 1884 to commemorate his death and that of Rend Goupil, and Roman Catholics are making pilgrimages thither. Father Jogues wrote a "Description of New Netherlands in 1642," a "Notice of Rend Goupil," and a "Journal" of his captivity, all of which have been published in a volume of the "Collections of the New York Historical Society," and reprinted, with notes and a memoir, by John G. Shea (1862). His journal was published by Alejambe in his "Mortes illustres" (Rome, 1667). His life has been written by Felix Martin (Paris, 1873; New York, 1885).

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

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