Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

pilation was not sufficient to leave amongst the Indians a standing form of prayers and instructions in their own native language. They needed a book to which they could have reference at this time, in which the spirit of infidelity, so widely prevailing among the white men, is endeavoring to find an access even to the red race. Many attempts made in old times to pervert them, have been renewed in these last years, even in this very year, not only by white people, but also by some Protestant Ministers—apostates from the Catholic religion, belonging to the tribes of the Iroquois. However, they had no success, having not been able to make a single convert.

The arrangement of this book is quite different from that made by Rev. E. De

lished in the first volume of the new series of the Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences), made by our Father Sebastian Rale. This dictionary is not complete, because, before being finished, it was taken away from the author, together with his chests and

papers, by a party of English, from New England, who in 1722, under Col. Westbrook, pillaged the church and the village of the Abnakis, at Norridgewock, on the shores of the Kennebec. This manuscript has been always regarded as precious remains of Philology by all men of Science. The amateur of letters and . the antiquarian will lament for ever the cruel death of Father Rale, who, having spent about thirty-five years among the Abnakis, was the only man capable to give a perfect dictionary and grammar.

PREFACE.

THE Tribes of the Abnakis, or, more properly, Wanbanakki (people of the Aurora borealis, from Wanbànban), existing in the State of Maine, transmit the truths of the Catholic religion from parents to children, only by oral tradition. Rev. Edmund Demillier left a handwriting, containing a small prayer-book, which was a correction of the prayerbook printed by Rev. Mr. Romagnè, with other additions. I have made use of them both, and I have spared no labor to correct them. But I found that this com

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

pilation was not sufficient to leave amongst the Indians a standing form of prayers and instructions in their own native language.

They needed a book to which they could have reference at this time, in which the spirit of infidelity, so widely prevailing among the white men, is endeavoring to find an access even to the red race. Many attempts made in old times to pervert them, have been renewed in these last years, even in this very year, not only by white people, but also by some Protestant Ministers—apostates from the Catholic religion, belonging to the tribes of the Iroquois. However, they had no success, having not been able to make a single convert.

The arrangement of this book is quite different from that made by Rev. E. De

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« PoprzedniaDalej »