Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BREBEUF, Jean de, French missionary, born in Bayeux, 25 March, 1593; killed in the Huron country, 16 March, 1649. He accompanied Champlain as a Jesuit missionary to Canada in 1626, and established himself among the Hurons, acquiring their language, and exercising a paternal influence over them. He was carried as a prisoner to England in 1629, but returned in 1632 to the Huron country, and extended his missionary labors to the Neuter Indians on Niagara river. In 1634 he penetrated, with Daniel, another Jesuit, to the vicinity of Lake Huron. The two Christian villages of St. Louis and St. Ignatius were founded, followed by St. Mary's on the Wye River and other stations. In the war between the Hurons and the Iroquois the town of St. Louis, where Father Brebeuf resided, was captured by the Iroquois in 1649. He and his companion Lallemand might have escaped, but remained with their converts and were tortured to death. They were covered with pine bark full of pitch, and burned on a scaffold. Brebeuf's skull is said to be preserved at the convent of the hospital nuns in Montreal, in the pedestal of a silver bust. His translation into the Huron tongue of Ledesma's catechism was printed at the end of Champlain's "Voyages," and is the earliest specimen of the Indian idioms of Canada. His account of the Hurons in the Jesuit "Relations" of 1635 and 1636, embracing a treatise on their language, was translated by Albert Gallatin and published in the memoirs of the American antiquarian society. Some of the letters of Pere Brebeuf were issued by Carayon (Paris, 1870).
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